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!

Sync Workshop – Edit iPhone and Smartphone Contacts for Improved Sync Access

Editing your iPhone or smartphone contacts can help you improve access with the Ford Sync system.

When it comes to most smartphones, the critical first step is entering the contact data correctly.

If you open a new contact file, put the First Name of your contact in the “First Name” box. And then put the contact’s Last Name in the “Last Name” box. Sound simple enough, but here’s the deal… if you put the name John Smith entirely on the “First Name” line and then, if your phone and your Ford Sync system is set up to search by last name, then guess what? That’s right, you can say, “Call John Smith,” and the Ford Sync system cannot find anything in your phone book. So, take the time to edit your contacts by name and how they are entered.

When it comes to the iPhone 5, be sure to go to your Settings icon. Scroll down to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” box and give it a tap. Then scroll down to the “Contacts” section. Take notice of your “Sort Order”, you may want to set it on “Last, First” and then look at your “Display Order” and you might want to make that “First, Last.” Otherwise, you might be pushing the Voice button and say “Call John Smith” and the Sync system might say “No such contact found.” But it might if you said, “Call Smith, John.” I don’t know about you, but that would drive me crazy to say Last Name first and then First name last.

Then, take notice of what kind of phone number you are entering on the contact… place their work number in the “Work” number box, and the cell number on the “Mobile” number box. Then, the proper way to set up the call is to tall Sync, “Call John Smith at Work.” Why? If you don’t, and just say, “Call John Smith,” then the system will come back and state “Multiple contacts found, say 1 for Work and 2 for Mobile.” Once again, take some time to edit your phone book to make it so you can make the call without a lot of prompting from Sync.

And, did you know that when you initially Pair your Phone, and give the system permission to download your phonebook contacts, what the system does is Index (review) your contacts. If you make additions or corrections to your phonebook while in your vehicle, the Sync system won’t be able to “see” the updates until you turn off the vehicle, completely power down your Sync system, and then restart (or reboot) your Sync system. Then it will re-index your contacts and “see” the updates.

For those with the MyFord Touch system, you may want to touch the Phone corner, tap the Settings tab, go to the Manage Phonebook tab, and then tap Re-download Phonebook.

Watch out when it comes to using contacts that are entered in all capital letters. The Sync system has to review your contacts by the text you have entered into the contact information line. “John” is reviewed by the system and then it can listen and say “John.” If a contact is entered as “JOHN” then the system can only “find” the name if you say, “Call J-O-H-N.” So, avoid entering your contact names in all capital letters.

It makes sense to take the time to edit your frequently called contacts and make the information so the Sync system can easily understand it.