• Dec 13th 2009 at 10:52AM
  • 45
SYNC, Ford's voice-operated in-vehicle phone and media player interface, has become hugely popular feature. Since its introduction a couple years back, Ford has added new features and functionality to the system, including the ability to call up turn-by-turn directions, even on cars without navigation.

If you have a newer, more advanced phone that can download its address book, you can make calls by simply telling the car to call a given contact's name. If, on the other hand, you're stuck with a more prosaic communications device, you're limited to dialing by number.

To address this limitation, Ford's has introduced SYNCmyPhone. This is a desktop application (available for Windows and Mac) that allows users to create and manage their address book. Once the address book is ready, it can then be saved to a USB drive and loaded to a SYNC-equipped car, giving it the dial-by-name functionality previously available only to users of newer phones. If you drive a Ford vehicle with SYNC, you can download the app at SYNCMyRide.com .

[Source: Ford]

press release

  • Ford launches SYNCMyPhone, a new phone contact list app for SYNC users that allows them to create, manage and download multiple address books to their Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle
  • The software was developed by Ford, along with current SYNC users, who beta-tested the application and contributed to features found on the finished product
  • SYNCMyPhone is compatible with all current production versions of Ford SYNC and is available for free download at www.syncmyride.com

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 11, 2009 – Ford engineers and IT specialists teamed up with Ford SYNC owners to help develop SYNCMyPhone, a new phone address book download app for Ford SYNC.

SYNC's ability to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, access its phonebook and allow occupants to use simple voice commands such as "Call Mike Smith at home" to make hands-free calls while driving is one of the most popular and recognized features of the SYNC system. In recent Ford owner clinics conducted with retailer Best Buy, more than 35 percent of SYNC users tagged hands-free phone usage as the most appealing feature of SYNC.

Customers talk, Ford listens
The Ford SYNC team actively engages SYNC users and asks for ways to further improve the system on the Owner to Owner community forum set up on the SYNC Web site (
www.syncmyride.com). Recently, those chats inspired the idea for a phonebook download assistance application that would help customers with older cell phones or pay-as-you-go phones, who could only digit-dial a contact via voice ("Dial 1-800-392-3673"), rather than ask the SYNC system to call a person by name ("Call Mike Smith at home").

The SYNC team shared their idea with Ford's IT community, looking for a software-based solution that could bring all phones to a higher level of compatibility with SYNC. Within 90 days, the teams had developed a prototype application, offered it up as a download for beta testing by SYNC users on the owner community forum, incorporated customer changes and launched the finished product – SYNCMyPhone – on www.syncmyride.com.

"Our IT team is taking a much larger and more upfront role in customer satisfaction as the amount of software in the vehicle continues to increase," said Darren Shelcusky, supervisor of Vehicle Solutions with Ford's Product Development Systems/Information Technology. "We are paying close attention to what our customers like and dislike; taking fast action to deliver the technology and features that they value."

Contacts converge
Now available for free download on
www.syncmyride.com, SYNCMyPhone gives users the ability to hop on their home computer or laptop, manually create and manage multiple address books and contact lists – from a cell phone, Outlook distribution list or other device – and upload the information to the SYNC system via their vehicle's USB port.

Customers can enter from 1 to 2,000 different numbers and contacts to their SYNCMyPhone download. And they can also choose any combination of names and contacts, so while some may only want to enter the 20 people they call the most, others can choose to enter only their business contacts from their laptop or go for it all and throw on entire address books from multiple sources.

Through the SYNCMyPhone download, all the contacts that users can access hands-free in the SYNC-equipped vehicle don't have to be entered on the paired phone – a painful data-entry exercise that everyone has endured after buying a new cell phone.

Testing the rules
While early customer engagement and beta testing of new vehicle designs and equipment isn't a feasible or safe practice for automakers in most instances, SYNC is redefining that hard-and-fast rule for Ford.

"We could never provide customers with a new suspension or brake component and ask them to beta test it, but since SYNC is software-based, it opens up a whole new dimension in our ability to respond quickly to customer needs and engage them in early development," said Shelcusky.

With SYNCMyPhone, Ford engineers worked with some 50 current SYNC users with phonebook download issues to help define, develop and tweak the application to get it just right.

The company-to-customer dialogue was massive. In total, more than 6,500 page views on the application were created on the SYNC owner forum during the beta testing and a soft launch that followed. In addition, the amount of feedback gathered in the less than two months the soft launch post was active is unmatched by any previous Ford SYNC announcement made on www.syncmyride.com.

As a result of this dialogue, several customer requests were baked into the final product, including the need for specific user defined import fields and the application's compatibility with both PC and MAC operating systems.

"SYNCMyPhone speaks to how the SYNC Owner to Owner community can help enable our engineers to identify issues in real-time and solve them quickly," said Trisha Habucke, Ford's digital marketing manager. "The forum has given our company and our customers a feedback mechanism that is as sophisticated and responsive as the SYNC system itself."


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alright folks, let just agree the system is good, and they put the CD changer in there for the people that still use them, not everyone has an Ipod or an equivalent. If you do not want to use it, just plug into the usb port, boom done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see why people bash SYNC all the time. Yeah, there are some flaws, but there always seem like people want to b*tch about something. I have SYNC in some of my cars, and it is wonderful. It only has room to improve, and it will.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually 32 GB is about 55 CDs (you can do math, 32,768 mb / approx. 600 mb per CD = 54.6 CDs), you can hold 55 CDs in your CD changer? My Lexus has made progress.

        "Secondly, all those features you just spoke of are currently available without SYNC. Bluetooth, GPS Navigation, SOS call and Lo-Jack. It's just not integrated into a nanny system like SYNC."

        Yeah, so rather than spending $395 on SYNC, you'd rather $200 bucks on a Nav, $50 bucks on a bluetooth earpiece, and hundreds on LoJack and an aftermarket SOS 911 call system, because you prefer having things more complicated? Oh matthew, please explain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's like you're some old technophobe or something. You really can't understand the appeal of having quick and easy access to all of your music or at least a large chunk of it? You can't understand why people would like not needing expensive clunky cd changers or keeping their music seemlessly

        People don't care about the 7.1 surround sound for two reasons.
        1.They don't listen to music that would benefit from the extra quality. Electric guitars, drums, basses, keyboards, and synthesizers are what make up most of the music people listen to. Metal, rap, pop, and classic rock don't benefit much from the extra quality. A full fledge orchestra does because there are so many instruments working together in harmony.

        2. It is a selling point. Those sound systems are optional and plenty of people do get them. Half the population is deaf though so they can't tell much of a difference.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My firs paragraph somehow got cut off. We really need an edit button here.

        Anyway to finish it and make my comment make sense:

        You can't understand why people would like not needing expensive clunky cd changers over keeping their music seamlessly stored on one easy to transport device?
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL I never said anything about dealing with CD's except in response to that guy saying "does anyone still buy CDs?" If you rip your WAV's, that's cool. 32GB is only 4.5 CD's worth of music. I can still hold more than that in my CD changer.

        Secondly, all those features you just spoke of are currently available without SYNC. Bluetooth, GPS Navigation, SOS call and Lo-Jack. It's just not integrated into a nanny system like SYNC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So what you're trying to say is that people that don't care about audio quality should be forced to deal with CDs (storing them in their car, putting them in/taking them out of the changer, figuring out which CDs are where in the changer, hoping you have the CD you want in your car, buying extra copies of your favorites if you don't always drive the same car, hoping your CD player doesn't refuse to eject the CD like my mom's CTS is prone to doing) even though they have an iPod full of low quality MP3s that they're perfectly content with...
        And the people that do care about quality (like me for example) that have a player that focuses on quality (like a Zen X-Fi loaded with lossless rips) should deal with CDs too, even though there are 32 GBs of lossless X-Fi crystallized sound in a 1.2 cm thick device waiting to be listened to.
        Not to mention the fact that SYNC acts as a bluetooth phone device (so you don't have to deal with putting out another $50 every time you lose one or it breaks), provides turn by turn directions, can provide news/sports/weather/etc. reports, gives monthly vehicle health reports, and can call 911 in the event of airbag deployment... yes a complete step back.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oops I did do a mental math error. Should have been ~45.5 CD's/32GB, not 4.5, assuming that the CD's are all 700MB!

        Anyway, my point was mostly about the first guy's comment regarding audio quality being overlooked.

        Integrating all that stuff under a Windows OS is new, and doesn't sound like a terribly good idea, given how unreliable Windows tends to be. I don't want my SOS button to blue screen on me when I need it, and I care more about audio quality than about how many thousands of songs I can have stored in my car.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah I'm a total technophobe who built computers for years. That makes total sense... I've been seriously into audio since I was 17(I''m an ancient 26 now). I've watched new technology come out, and there's been much advancement in the field. Much genuine advancement, I should say.

        Now the trend is reversing. Instead of going for better quality, people are simply going for QUANTITY and laziness-driven things like "not having to push a CD into a 6 disc changer". Oh my! What a burden has been lifted by SYNC! LOL

        I suppose it's only fitting that Ford would adopt these silly technologies for mass consumption, like a Starbucks or Apple i-Everything mentality, instead of focusing on sound quality. It's rather disappointing, if you're really love music.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe they bash silly things like a computer OS for a car, because the ideas aren't innovative at all. They're just marketing driven pandering to a generation of people who don't know how to do anything but use a computer.

        People get all excited about iPod interfaces so they can playback MP3's, but the 7.1 channel DVD-Audio systems on Bentley, RR, Aston, Lexus, MB etc. hardly get any coverage. Those systems represent a generational leap in car based entertainment.

        Stuff like this is a clumsy step backwards. Seriously, how hard is it to actually know where you're going, or use a regular GPS without turning your car into something that'll get the Blue Screen of Death all the time?
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM's Bluetooth handsfree system allows you to access the voice dial system already in your phone. This is great if you have a phone with a good one, but no so much if your phone has a bad one.

      You also can store 50 numbers very easily (although you have to voice enter them one at a time).

      This new app to download contacts is nice, it's better than nothing. But it's going to be inconvenient enough that many won't keep their contacts in sync between their car and phone properly, lessening the value of voice dialing.

      In the press release they say getting contacts into my phone is a pain, that everyone endures. I haven't entered contacts into my phone for almost a decade now, computer sync existed for Sony-Ericsson phones phones for a long time now and for most makes for about 5 years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      news flash:

      Schumacher and mercedes GP have a mutual agreement for 1 year.
      only the formality on paper is missing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      omg, a dangerous car.
      microsoft is involved.

      i see biznis, anti virus apps for cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why do I get the feeling that Matthew insists on buying Monster Cable, insisting that it makes music sound better despite proof that it's no better than using coat hangers.

      I have just over 12 DAYS worth of music on a 250GB portable HD in my Taurus. I like that I can push a button, say what I want to hear, and I get the music I asked for within about two seconds. And to me at least, it seems a bit less distracting than looking through a foot long stack of CDs (not including cases), finding the one I want to hear, and putting it in the cd player. As for quality, it sounds just fine to me, as well as the vast majority of car buyers. It certainly sounds better than any of the FM stations, which seem to be accepted by the general listening public.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Touche' mike. This kid is going to self-destruct from his anal retentiveness.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Pronunciation: tü-ˈshā
        Function: interjection
        Etymology: French, from past participle of toucher to touch, from Old French tuchier
        Date: 1904
        —used to acknowledge a hit in fencing or the success or appropriateness of an argument, an accusation, or a witty point


        F*ck off you self-important t*at.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a remark meant to be used in the first person... You still don't get how you used it improperly do you?

        LOL Not even the dictionary could help you! If you were acknowledging that he had a point directed toward YOU, you'd have said touche', and used it in the correct context. You don't say "touche'" on someone else's behalf. So go **** yourself, you UN-important ****! LOL! You're too much fun to play with!
        • 5 Years Ago

        You clearly are already a mess if you can't discern the merit of something good, versus something that's garbage. If you can stand by and watch things decay and degrade, instead of getting better, then you really are backwards then you're sick and twisted already.

        So you're saying that people should just pretend that they're content with mediocrity? Or maybe something more disgusting is actually at work here; you genuinely ARE content with mediocrity, because you are mediocre yourself.

        People who said the CD was bad didn't realize that things like 20bit DAC's would bring their music back to life. MP3 just kills music further, instead of making it sound better.

        HDD storage is fine really. It's not an advancement in how you listen to music, but it is more convenient to put it all on a HDD than to have a bunch of discs. That wasn't the point though.

        The point is that a laziness and gadget driven market doesn't produce innovation. It just integrates existing technologies instead of creating new ones, which is exactly what SYNC is.

        Apparently you can't comprehend such simple concepts, so you displace and project and tell me that I'm a "mess". Hilarious.

        And daleam: Learn what touche' means before you attempt to use it colloquialy in an attempt to be a Remora off of someone else's idiotic comment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The point is that a laziness and gadget driven market doesn't produce innovation. It just integrates existing technologies instead of creating new ones, which is exactly what SYNC is."

        Matthew, the first automobiles were an integration of existing technologies catering to the convienience (laziness) driven market. I hope you don't own a car, lest you be part of humanity's downfall into mediocracy. But I'm assuming you do, and it was even built on an assembly line, features an electronic starter, and has many other features that started their existance as integreations of existing technologies. You may even park it in a garage with an automatic garage door opener. Oh no, the laziness! You're part of the problem!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're just so intelligent aren't you, matthew. You're the stupid prick who thought that you could somehow accidentally remote start a car LOL. If you drive a Lexus like you claim you do then you should know better than that. Or is Lexus so cheap that they don't even offer remote start? You're a liar and a stupid little bitch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Buy the BEST you can afford has become "buy the MOST you can afford, even if it's junk". More isn't necessarily better.

        As a consequence, the price of good things goes up, and the price of gimmicky junk drops, as production of quality goods is supplanted by the production of junk.

      • 3 Years Ago
      so far I love this sync system...only had my car a month and even though I got my manual 2 weeks Later,I was able to get my phone synced..and scan through a few things to get started!..Ford Focus Awesome!!!!
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