Sometimes Smartphone Apps Create Phone Book Conflicts

Smartphone Apps may create a conflict with an in-vehicle technology system, such as Ford Sync. This conflict may impair your ability to access your phone contacts when using voice commands. In this “technology workshop” we will address some solutions.

Sometimes when you try to use the Ford Sync system to make a hands-free phone call and the hands-free system may reply, “Calling Dot on Cell… ” The Bluetooth system will then go to the first alpha phone contact and begin making the phone call. This can be frustrating, but it seems the issue isn’t caused by the Sync system, it may be caused by your phone and the Apps you are using.

With the growing number of smartphone users there seems to be a more and more “issues” when it comes to using Bluetooth accessible systems such as the Ford Sync System.

With the growing number of smartphone users there seems to be a problem of a user not being able to access their phone book contacts. Even though the phone has been paired correctly and the phone book has been “downloaded” into the system, it still cannot make the call.

For example, on the Ford Sync system, when you push the Voice button on the steering wheel and say “Phone.” The system replies, “Phone, state your command.” Then you say, “Call John Smith on cell.” The Sync system may reply with “Calling Dot on Cell.” Then it calls the first name listed in your phone book. What’s up?

One thing to do is to open your contacts list and review that all of the first names are input only on the First Name line. Also, be sure to put the person’s last name on the Last Name line. Then input their phone number into the box that matches the source of the phone, such as Home, Mobile or Work. Automated systems such as the Ford Sync System cannot “find” a last name if it’s not listed in the right box. So input your information into the right data fields.

This new issue is related to software apps. At least one smartphone App lets you add emoticons (such as smiley faces and so on) to your text messages or to your smartphone contacts. The trouble is that even one emoticon (or for that matter, extraneous punctuation marks and symbols used in phone book data fields) will corrupt your phone book to the point that the Sync system cannot interpret any of your contact names.

Solution: Don’t use this App with your phone book contacts. If you do, then you cannot rely on any Bluetooth hands-free system to “find” the contact name. You would have to manually dial your contact on your phone while driving — and this defeats the entire purpose of hands-free Bluetooth systems. Or, you can delete the App from your phone and go back and edit out any emoticons, logos, artwork, symbols, punctuation marks and so on that you put into your phone book.

Once you have purged the extraneous data from your phone contacts list, you may need to reset your phone. Usually this is done by completely powering down your phone for a minute or so and then restarting it. For a phone, such as the iPhone, you may wish to do what is called a “soft reset.” Here’s a quick video link on a soft reset for the iPhone.

Illegal To Use a Handheld Cell Phone Whilst Driving

In the United Kingdom, a law has just been passed which forbids drivers to use mobile phones whilst on the move. In fact, this is not quite true as the law has been around for some considerable time. Yet the authorities are cracking down on the use of mobile phones on the move and making it a more serious offense.

Up until February 1st, using a mobile phone on the move could lead to a fine of approximately $60. This was hardly a deterrent and people could be seen at all times using the telephone. There have been a number of instances when pedestrians have been killed because of drivers using mobile phones and losing control of their vehicles. The 60-dollar fine was not much of a deterrent for most people. Therefore, on the 1st of February the fine has been increased to $120 together with three points endorsement on the driving license.

This is thought to be able to produce a situation where people will think twice before using a mobile phone. Yet whether this will prove to be useful overall is debatable. The mobile phone has become an essential item for use at all times of the day and even at night.

The days are long past when the only way we could communicate with other people was if we were at home and near our land line phones. Now the mobile phone is useful for general communication and for more “important” communications involving the safety of children, loved ones, and relatives.

The risk of using a mobile phone only becomes noticeable at times when authorities such as the law enforcement are nearby in order to see the crime being perpetrated. The vast majority of car, and other vehicle, drivers will know that they are safe most of the time to use their mobile phone without being caught.