Ford introduces Sync 3 -- infotainment gets a lot more user-friendly
Moving to a new and far more engaging generation of in-car infotainment, Ford today announced Sync 3. Building on the capabilities of its existing Sync system -- which is currently fitted to over 10 million vehicles globally - this new Gen III package will make it quicker, easier and more intuitive for owners to stay connected with their vehicles. Set to roll out in various 2016 model year vehicles, it will fully supplant the existing MyFord Touch -aka Sync 2 -- across Ford's entire North American lineup by the end of calendar year 2016. A Lincoln-specific version of Sync 3 also will be rolled out for the automaker's luxury brand in that same time window.
Ford used input from 22,000 customer comments and suggestions to comprehensively recast its popular but oft-maligned MyFord Touch setup. Although there's still no word which models will be the first to receive Sync 3, the top-line systems will come with an all-new 8.0-inch high-contrast touchscreen that responds much like a conventional smartphone. In addition to pinch-to-zoom/swipe functionality and far speedier input responses, it boasts better overall graphics that include larger virtual buttons. Offering three zones on the home screen - Navigation, Audio and Phone - the system also features more conversational style voice recognition logic and when connected to an Apple iPhone brings seamless integration of Siri Hands Free control.
The Sync 3 experience will include three more welcome touches, starting with upgraded AppLink functionality that can automatically discover various smartphone apps -- Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, NPR One, SiriusXM Radio and iHeartRadio Auto to name a few - and display their dedicated graphics. The 911 Assist feature also takes a step forward, now relaying additional crash data indicating the area impacted, whether airbags were deployed and how many seatbelts were in use at the time. Finally, operating software for Sync 3 can be updated via Wi-Fi - a process that can take place in the driveway or garage once the vehicle has been properly linked into the owner's home network.