A few months back, Ford told us that it had listened to consumers and wanted to cure the ills of the first generation MyFord Touch. Starting today, the Blue Oval will begin shipping out USB drives to owners of 2013 Ford Taurus and Flex models, allowing them to install the latest version of the software from the comfort of their garages.

The update addresses many gripes that both the public and press have had with the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch interface since its launch in 2010. The graphics have undergone a relatively major overhaul with bolder text and a cleaner, more user friendly UI. Just as important, the touchsceen lag we've complained about in the past should be all but eradicated and voice recognition has also improved. No word from Ford on how it's dealt with the intermittent crashes that users have experienced, but we know that it was a top priority for engineers.

Ford's wonks have also added more phone support, Audible audiobook integration, a revamped mapping and navigation system and the ability to link a variety of tablet devices to the Sync platform.

Ford is shipping both a USB flash drive that contains the update and an SD card with all-new mapping data. Ford claims the installation should take around an hour, but if you're hazy on the install process, it can be performed at your local Ford or Lincoln dealer. Make the jump for the official details.
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MyFord Touch Resonates with Buyers; Upgrade Launches on 2013 Ford Taurus, Flex, and for Current Customers

• Ford buyers rank SYNC® and MyFord Touch® among the most appealing features of new Ford vehicles; 56 percent say the technology was an important part of their buying decision
• New owners identify SYNC's voice-recognition capability as a key feature; 77 percent report they use voice commands regularly, and more customers are using other features such as Bluetooth® streaming and the cloud-based network of SYNC Services
• 2013 Ford Taurus and Flex are first two of seven new models launching this year with the faster, simpler and easier-to-use MyFord Touch system
• Ford and Microsoft engineers developed an improved user experience based on feedback from owners, dealers and employees; current MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch- equipped vehicle owners can begin receiving the no-cost software upgrade this week

DEARBORN, Mich., March 5, 2012 – Ford SYNC® and the MyFord Touch® connectivity system are helping drive more than half of new Ford owners to purchase Blue Oval vehicles.

Features of MyFord Touch rank as some of the top purchase reasons for new models, including the Ford Explorer and Edge, which both launched with the system in late 2010. Specifically:

• Customer order rates for MyFord Touch have increased 5 percentage points heading into the new model year for both Explorer and Edge, which were already at 79 and 72 percent, respectively
• 56 percent of buyers said in owner surveys that SYNC and MyFord Touch were important to their purchase decision

Ford continues to migrate MyFord Touch across its product line, including into the new 2013 Ford Flex and Taurus reaching dealer showrooms this spring. At the same time, Ford is launching a significantly upgraded version of MyFord Touch for current owners that Ford and Microsoft engineers developed by listening to owner, dealer and employee feedback.

"It is gratifying to see SYNC and MyFord Touch technology are driving purchase consideration of new Ford cars, utilities and trucks, and helping our vehicles stand out in the marketplace," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for Ford Global Product Development. "We are committed to continuous improvement of these and other technologies, and to continue delivering even more of the products and technologies people truly want."

Customers are using the technology

Customers don't view this technology as just a checklist item when shopping for a new vehicle; they are actually using it in their new Ford vehicles. A survey of drivers of 2011 and 2012 model SYNC and MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles report 91 percent use of SYNC's hands-free calling capability at least once a month and 62 percent use it on a daily basis. Eighty-five percent use wireless Bluetooth® audio streaming, with nearly half using it every day.

By late 2011, 77 percent of drivers with Ford SYNC said they were regularly using voice commands to operate the system's features – an increase of 14 percent from 2010.

Continuously improving the user experience

As capable and popular as MyFord Touch is now, the flexibility of the underlying SYNC software platform allows for regular updates and upgrades as the technology evolves.

"SYNC has put us in a unique position to change customer expectations for their ownership experience," Kuzak explains. "As we continue to evolve the technology for launch on new products, we will incorporate improvements and new features, listening to owner feedback on a regular basis and offering upgrades to existing customers."

While MyFord Touch has been continuously improved with each successive vehicle launch since 2010, Ford is now launching the first major software upgrade with the 2013 Ford Taurus and Flex.

The touch screen interface has been enhanced with simpler graphics and bolder text that is easier to use. The response time of the touch screen is now much faster so drivers can tap controls and focus on driving. Already popular voice controls now provide even better recognition so drivers can tell their cars what to do, keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

In addition to the simplified interface and faster performance, Ford engineers added new features including better phone compatibility, support for tablet computers and Audible audiobooks, improved navigation maps and destination entry.

The upgraded system will roll out to all new 2013 models that offer MyFord Touch, and the improved software will be offered to more than 300,000 current owners to improve their driving experience even further.

For current customers, Ford will begin mailing out MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch upgrade packages to those in the U.S. this week. The packages will include a USB flash drive with the updated software, a notification letter, detailed instructions for the 60-minute download, and an updated user guide. Navigation-equipped vehicle owners also will receive an updated SD card with all-new, updated map data.

If preferred, customers also can elect to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for installation of the upgrade.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Nicholas Williamson
      • 3 Years Ago
      Really glad to see this company listen and respond with what seems like a greatly improved product. I've personally been impressed by the old MFT on the few occasions I've had to play around with it. I really liked the UI. I don't own a vehicle with MFT however, and did not get to experience the many glitches I've read about. I really hope this update hits the sweet-spot, as I would love to have this feature with navigation in one of my future vehicles.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any word on the 2012 Focus getting this update?
        • 3 Years Ago
        For real! I will miss the current look but It will be nice to have it all working lol.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Improved? Sure. Still looks to be less responsive than Uconnect though.
        XJ Yamaha
        • 3 Years Ago
        Apples to oranges.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @XJ Yamaha
          How's that? Both use large touch screens, have GPS, voice recognition, multiple media interfaces, phone connectivity with sms readback, hvac control and various other ancillary system controls (heated seats/steering wheel). It's not like I compared it to a 1988 Blaupunkt.
      Ralph Witkin
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've owned my MKX for 13 months & am considering trading it for a Jeep Grand Cherokee because of the My Touch Navigation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ralph Witkin
        Try the update. The mkx is very nice!
      • 3 Years Ago
      In spite of the glitches, I love the MFT ('11 Edge). Mine craps out about once every 3-4 weeks, but re-boots after a minute or two. The current Nav system has worked like a charm and I use it constantly. For all the talk about issues, none of the ones I've experienced have risen to the level that some of the anti-MFT rhetoric suggests. To those who post that interactive systems are a waste o\r that they are too complex for the average driver, I say PREPARE YOURSELVES! In 5 years, you won't be able to purchase a car without one.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The NHTSA doesn't seem to like them, and if they issue rules against them, then not every car will have them. Personally, I see no use for most of the crap they put in them (e.g., MFT has a national weather map. But the only weather that matters when you drive is what's outside your windows. Everything else can wait till you get where you're going.) IMO, touch screens are almost worthless in cars. My current audio system has NEVER crashed. It has never needed time to boot. It can be operated by feel alone. It takes fewer 'touches' to do what I want (because there are no menus to deal with). And it costs less. To summarize: traditional systems are faster, easier to use, more reliable, and cheaper.
      Black Cyclone GT
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does anyone really feel that all this high tech gadgetry is really necessary or even wanted? I think it's getting to be a bit much these days and it's starting to detract from the simple pleasure of letting your car "take you away" for a while.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Black Cyclone GT
        Many consumers may feel your way, but as evidenced by the huge focus by all car manufacturers today, the large majority of buyers today (especially the young buyers, which is the demographic most want to cultivate to ensure lifetime sales) are making these systems not just an accessory, but a necessity. The demand is there, right or wrong. I like the technology, but I am moving more towards the older cars (I am only 34) because I want to work on them, and for the reason you note: so I can just enjoy the ride. Most drivers don't enjoy the drive, so this technology is important for them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Johnny Neat
      • 3 Years Ago
      What about 2011-13 FORD Explorer owners? My FORD Touch freezes and is a mess for some time. Took it into the dealer three times due to it being unable to turn off, even with car turned off, and was claimed to have gotten an update but performance began to suffer as it freezes now and refuses to connect to our iPhones via bluetooth now. Frustrating.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Johnny Neat
        They are sending new USBs to owners of the Explorer as well.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a Ford product trainer, I can vouch on the improvements that have been implemented into the new upgrade. I've had a 13 SHO since the beginning of January with this software and i have yet to encounter any issues and the entire system is more fluid and noticeably quicker.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hi, I own a Focus - TIT - with MFT, with NAV, purchased last May. Is there an update headed my way?? Thanks, Andy randybyAaol.com
          • 3 Years Ago
          Yes Andy, your vehicle falls under this upgrade......now when you'll receive it, that I don' know.
      Alex Cryder
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work at Lebanon Ford dealership in Ohio and we received the upgrades yesterday and have begun updating our stock. I have to say the upgrade is 10x better than the previous MFT System. We have an article on our blog site, Ford-Life, that goes over the upgrade in more detail. We talk about the installation and something that you might not know, like being eligible to receive a free rental while the upgrade is being preformed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could the days of MyFord Suxs be over? I might be able to use the system in my Focus the way I expected it to work. Which is just to work!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey Ford, how about a simple knob to turn if I want to increase the volume, or change the temperature.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There are knobs to do both of these things in the Focus with MFT
          • 3 Years Ago
          I believe the issue was when the software froze, not even the hardware knobs or buttons would respond, so if the heater was stuck on full blast, that's the way it stayed.
          • 3 Years Ago
          clquake is right. Since all controls go through MFT, when it decides to take the day off, everything stops working.
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