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.

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.