Please, Just Say No to Emojis! These Apps Corrupt the Ford Sync System!

Using emoticons on your smartphone can cause severe problems with the voice-to-text functions of the Ford Sync System. This self-help article reveals ways to correct these problems.

Since late 2012 there were numerous problems with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S as well as the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC Evo and other smartphones having connectivity issues with the Ford Sync system. User forums for these smartphones and for the Sync system have been filled with people which connectivity problems that affected the base model, the MyFord and the MyFord Touch Sync systems. The issue was something was seriously affecting the Sync users accessibility of their phone book contacts with Voice commands. If you pushed the “Voice” icon on your steering wheel and said “Phone” and then “Call + (your contact name)” then your Sync system might reply, “Calling Dot on Cell.”

Some of the issues were a result of smartphone users downloading and using any of the Emoji Apps. The word emoji is Japanese for ideograms, you know, those little emoticons such as smiley faces, “frowny” faces, etc.

The new Apple iOS even allows iPhone 5 users to go to their Settings folder, to the General settings, to the Keyboard tab, and then to the next menu to select “Keyboards.” You can then tap “Add New Keyboard” and add an emoji keyboard. However, this is the kiss of death for your Sync system.

The issue is that the cute emoticons seen on your smartphone screen as a smiley face are, in fact, long strings of programming language which cause Sync’s text-to-voice conversion to go haywire. When given a Voice command to call a contact the system will say “Calling Dot on Cell” and then dial the first contact listed in your phone book.

If this has happened, then review EVERY phone contact and remove any emoticon. Also remove any extraneous exclamation points, periods, commas, dashes and so on that you might have in your phone contact list. Be sure to even check the name of your device! Some overzealous users renamed their phones with smiley faces on the device name. Check to see that everything is cleared again. Then go to your Bluetooth settings and remove Sync from your phone.

If you have an iPhone, do a soft reset. This is done by holding your “Home” button, the large button at the lower center of your front screen, while also holding down the Power button at the top edge of the phone on the right side. Hold these buttons down until the Apple icon appears. Then release the buttons. Let the phone go idle for a few minutes. You can further push the power button, then slide the on-screen button to power down the phone. Leave the phone off for a few minutes. Then push the power button and let the phone power back up.

Then go to your vehicle. Go to your phone settings and delete your phone from the list of Bluetooth devices. Then turn your vehicle off. Open the hood and find the car battery. Loosen and remove the black (negative) battery cable) for about five minutes. Then replace the cable and tighten the clamp. Close the hood and restart the vehicle. Let a few minutes pass before resetting the radio from AM and resetting the clock. Then go to your phone settings and pair your phone back. See this video for instructions on pairing a phone.

Yes, this is a lot to do. This is why you need to really clean Emoji Apps and emoji keyboards from your phone files. Emoticons are cute but they defeat the whole purpose of having a Bluetooth-enabled hands-free communications system. Maybe it’s time to say bye, bye to smiley faces! So sorry!

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.