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Ford SYNC Software Upgrade Adds New Features to MyFord Touch; New Website Offers 'How To' Videos
Jan 07, 2011 (01:01 PM EST)


DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Ford releases the first of its planned SYNC® software updates to MyFord Touch™ owners – G2 V1.1 adds CDMA USB broadband modem compatibility for Wi-Fi® hot spot capability, along with other phone and feature enhancements

  • Simultaneously, Ford launches a dedicated MyFord Touch owner website, www.syncmyride.com/own/touch, giving users access to new videos and tutorials on more than 65 features as well as social sharing capabilities through Facebook and Twitter

  • Ford has continued to improve SYNC since introduction in 2007 with owner updates – SYNC G2 V1.1 was created during development of the new 2011 Ford Explorer and is now available for installation via local Ford dealers for 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX owners

Ford has released the first software upgrade for SYNC® with MyFord Touch™, helping enhance and expand system compatibility and performance for 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX owners.

"Consumer electronic products and software change fast and frequently to keep up with customer needs and technology trends," said John Schneider, chief engineer, Ford Multimedia and Infotainment. "A significant benefit of Ford SYNC is that it can be updated at the same speed as consumer electronics companies to keep our products and their owners at the forefront of the latest trends in technologies.

"Our owners can expect Ford to continue releasing software upgrades that improve compatibility, add more features and enhance performance, keeping their vehicles and the technologies offered fully up to date," Schneider added.

The SYNC G2 V1.1 update demonstrates the power of the SYNC open connectivity platform, which was designed and intended for easy upgrades as software evolves. This first update evolved during development of the new 2011 Ford Explorer, which is now on sale and is the next product to feature MyFord Touch.

New features, improved compatibility

With this new software update, SYNC's compatibility with USB broadband modems for creation of a Wi-Fi mobile hot spot improves to include CDMA networks, such as Verizon and Sprint devices, versus just GSM.

"No matter what happens in the mobile space, we want to be able to leverage a user's preferred hardware and work with just about any device on any software platform, with any connection type, powered by any network provider," said Schneider.

G2 V1.1 also incorporates some new phone compatibility, media features and driver services, including:

  • SIRIUS Travel Link™ one-touch tune makes it easy to find and listen to your game of choice by allowing drivers to simply choose the game they want from the Sports Score screen
  • SIRIUS Travel Link access to Movie Listings and show times
  • Interoperability with Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP) for improved compatibility of text message readback and reply capability
  • Addition of an HD Radio™ on/off button to the main Entertainment screen versus being located in the Settings menu
  • Addition of traffic pop-up alerts, on any active screen, versus just when viewing the navigation screen
  • Screen transition refinements when switching to and from the rear view camera image
  • Availability of Valet Mode to passcode-protect system and personal information access when the owner is away from the vehicle

Information exchange  

Understanding how to get the best out of any modern electronics device is crucial to customer satisfaction, so Ford is introducing www.syncmyride.com/own/touch, a dedicated web-based owner hub to educate users on all the features and services included in the SYNC with MyFord Touch portfolio.

Complete with a library of instructional videos and tutorials on more than 65 SYNC and MyFord Touch features, the website covers all the bases from how to pair a phone and personalizing gauge displays to using the MyFord Touch Media Hub, featuring Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot and RCA inputs.

If visitors to the site like what they learn, they then have the ability to share the content with their social network through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Visitors can even submit their own suggestions or questions to Ford to further improve the ownership experience for all.

"Giving owners the ability to share what they learn with their own connected communities improves the MyFord Touch experience and builds brand awareness at the same time," said Paul Russell, SYNC marketing manager. "This information exchange marks the beginnings of a new online community that can share MyFord Touch know-how and actively promote and discuss how the technology adds to the vehicle experience."

Upgrades and updates

The MyFord Touch Media Hub and SYNC platform give Ford the ability to offer customers new features, applications and capabilities through software downloads as they are developed.

For customers, this is a familiar protocol already used by consumer electronic and software companies to deliver new services quickly and conveniently to keep their system up to date and extend its useful life, as a vehicle is expected to operate efficiently for many years.

"Through a simple software update, no different from what consumers experience on their laptops or smartphones, SYNC can be adapted to connect with the latest devices and technologies and keep customers attached to their favorite services and features," said Mike Westra, Ford SYNC technical expert. "This helps ensure 'forward compatibility' with whatever connectivity technology or platform – 4G or wireless USB, for instance – comes next."

Since SYNC launched in 2007, Ford, too, has offered customers a number of significant and simple software-based upgrades and updates to expand SYNC services and features and address new technological advancements. And owners have taken advantage of these, with some 250,000 software downloads recorded on www.syncmyride.com to date.

Major SYNC updates and upgrades introduced over the past three years include:

  • Availability of 911 Assist™ and Vehicle Health Report apps for 2008 model year SYNC-equipped vehicle owners via a visit to a local Ford dealer
  • Introduction of Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI) services app for early 2010 model year SYNC-equipped vehicle owners to download and install via USB
  • Additional cloud-based services including horoscopes, stock quotes, movie listings, and airline, hotel and rental car information made available free of charge to registered TDI users
  • SYNC AppLink, software first made available to 2011 Ford Fiesta owners via USB download that will give SYNC users voice control of smartphone apps

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company