Here’s how Ford SYNC has evolved over the years since 2007

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In 2007, Ford and Microsoft have partnered to release the initial version of Ford SYNC. SYNC was one of the first attempts to give drivers connected car technology, allowing them to use voice commands to connect music and their phone while controlling it from the steering wheel.


The Windows Embedded Automotive operating system served as the brains of the entertainment and communication system, which was made available for 12 different 2008 Ford cars. Newer Ford vehicles and all Lincoln models now come with Ford SYNC 4 as standard.

Why were there multiple versions? What led to the introduction of Ford SYNC 4? As the Ford SYNC evolved from generation to generation, it acquired many features. Let’s discover the different versions and their interesting features.

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Ford changed the Ford SYNC to MyFord Touch using a QNX platform

Interiors of a Ford car showing SYNC features
Ford

Since its release in 2007, Ford Sync has not only improved in terms of technology, but it has also undergone a few name changes. Sync was a simple in-vehicle communication system built in partnership with Microsoft.

With Bluetooth, owners can talk on the phone without using their hands. They could also use voice commands to control the media player and radio. SYNC can display information in a simple two-line format or on a 4.2-inch color screen, if equipped.

The second generation of SYNC, which came out on 2011 models, added navigation, the ability to receive and send text messages, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Another notable change is the name. It is now called “SYNC with MyFord Touch”. Even though MyFord Touch drivers can use it on a larger 6.5 or 8-inch digital screen, the system’s user interface (UI) was as annoying as its name.

The arrival of the Ford SYNC 3 resolved most of the issues that plagued the Ford SYNC 2. However, before the end of 2015, the American multinational automaker dropped the “MyFord Touch” name and stopped providing updates to the application. Blackberry’s QNX platform replaced Microsoft as the operating system for the new Sync 3 entertainment system, Blackberry’s QNX platform replaced Microsoft.

Related: Here’s why the Ford Maverick is in such demand

Increased functionality of Ford SYNC 4 replacing the disadvantages of SYNC 3

Interiors of a Ford car showing SYNC features
Ford

You can only see the SYNC 3 infotainment system in Ford cars made after 2015. The display comes with an 8-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. This one works better and has more features than older versions of the app. To reduce driver distraction, it includes a simple user interface.

SYNC 3 offers choices for modifying the indoor environment. The other screens in the program all have climate controls in the bottom menu. SYNC 3 lets you select how you want to control it.

You can choose to use the steering wheel buttons, your voice, or touchscreen controls. In addition to that, it offers several menus. At the bottom of most screens, SYNC 3 displays a menu bar with main functions. This makes the system easier to use and less confusing.

However, Ford SYNC 4 is an upgraded version of SYNC 3. The most recent version, SYNC 4, was released in 2021 and was first used in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, which features a touchscreen 15.5 inches similar to that in a Tesla. It was also incorporated into the latest Ford Focus in October 2021.

Ford calls SYNC 4 a “cloud-connected in-vehicle communications and infotainment system,” which suggests it uses a mobile internet connection more than previous versions of SYNC. Ford’s software connects to the cloud, just like apps on your phone, so it can get real-time updates and stream media.

Practically, satellite navigation will alter your route to account for traffic and can even offer details of where to charge your EV and the current weather. Additionally, voice commands are now more subtle and realistic. For example, you can ask it to play a particular album or song from your streaming service. When you get in your car after work or on a weekend morning, SYNC 4 might suggest your most frequent routes, like the route to the golf course or your favorite location.

SYNC 4 is also compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so connecting your smartphone and using its apps on the dash shouldn’t be a problem. A split-screen feature allows two features to be presented side-by-side in vehicles with a larger screen.

Related: Here’s why Ford and Volkswagen are shutting down their self-driving car project

What does the future hold for the Ford SYNC interface system?

Interiors of a Ford car showing SYNC features
Ford

Ford SYNC is usable in one form or another on almost every car made by Ford. It gives users who want more from the system advanced control and gives other users basic control of their phones.

SYNC can be compared to an iPad because it can provide a good customer experience for a wide range of people. Some people only use their Ford SYNC and flip phone to make calls. Most people have yet to figure out how to use the Ford SYNC entertainment system to its full potential.

Ford and Microsoft still need to improve some features, like adding AppLink to the Ford SYNC system. Based on the most recent update, Ford will continue to add functionality to the SYNC system without too much trouble, thanks to OTA update capability.

Source: Ford, Microsoft

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