SYNC's Eight- And 4.2-Inch Displays
The centerpiece of SYNC is an eight-inch resistive touch-screen display. Ford doesn’t explicitly give away its resolution, but does recommend 800x378 for custom background images, which leads us to believe the actual resolution is 800x480 (typical for eight-inch displays). Naturally, the resulting output isn't going to be as crisp as the high-definition screens used on the latest tablets. But Ford's GUI is definitely optimized for the space available, the result looks good enough from the driver's seat.
Ford divides its home screen into quadrants that relay quick status summaries for your phone, navigation system, music, and climate controls. When you don't have a destination set, the navigation box contains a compass.
SYNC with MyFord Touch accepts four user inputs, including voice, the touch-screen, physical buttons, and another set of buttons on the steering wheel. You can mix and match the way you direct the infotainment system, switching between voice and touch controls at will.
A second 4.2-inch LCD in the gauge cluster displays vehicle information, including average fuel mileage, outside temperature, a compass, an odometer, and a trip odometer. When a navigation destination is set, the auxiliary display shows upcoming directions on the right side of the screen, near the speedometer, in order to minimize driving distractions.
Although the 2012 Ford Focus only employs a single auxiliary display, larger vehicles (such as the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion, Edge, Flex, Explorer, and Lincolns) include two gauge cluster-mounted 4.2-inch displays for greater customization, catering to the driver's need for easily-accessible information.
This is shockingly bad code quality for an embedded system. I may get a Ford vehicle in the future but it won't have SYNC in it. I'll epoxy a tablet to the dash if I need entertainment that bad.
P.S. What's up with the broken URL parsing?
What is the world coming to?
However, there are little things here and there that show the system has tremendous potential, but lacks polish you expect when it's in your automobile. I own a reasonably new Ford (2006 Freestyle.) It's been an exceptional, sturdy, and reliable car for several years now with no mechanical issues to date. My dad owns an old Lincoln Navigator with over 370,000 miles on it, still with the original engine running. Fords have been pretty good to me and my family over the years. You put in the key, turn it, and the thing runs. You push the buttons on the door and the windows go up or down. Flip a switch and the heater comes on.
You expect your automobiles to be like this. Ford Sync does not yet feel like this. "Do I push this button this way or that way?" "What word order do I need to use for this command?" "Why do I have to re-command Sync to start playing my phone's music via bluetooth every time I start my car rather than it just start automatically?" "Why does the system hang once in a while for no apparent reason?"
It just doesn't yet feel like it's reliable and responsive. I was intrigued and impressed by Sync, but it needs more polish, fluidity, refinement, and most of all consistency and reliability for it to please the masses day after day, and THIS is why Sync is the single worst factor in Ford's otherwise good reliability ratings being lowered, as mentioned above.
I don't think that anybody would buy a new car just for this technology, at least I hope not. But new cars also come with stability, traction, ABS, EBD and panic brake help which is nice.
My next car will be electric, maybe a 3-wheeled Zaptera. That's a reason to upgrade!
We touch on that in the conclusion. V2.0 of the software fixed a lot of the crashes and issues. We did not experience any crashes during the week we had the car.
That sounds fancy, my daily is a '90 Miata with no power steering, manual windows, no side door guard beams and a first generation airbag. Its a ton of fun though.
HDMI input would be nice. I think Honda is the only one that has HDMI input on the Honda Odyssey, but only on the $45k Elite model.