SYNC's Entertainment Features
The Focus' implementation of SYNC with MyFord Touch includes basic voice-activated music search, radio tuning, Bluetooth audio streaming, and USB device connectivity via a media hub in the center armrest.
Ford eschews a 1/8" auxiliary audio input in the Focus for a pair of USB ports that support Apple iPods, iPhones, Microsoft Zune devices, and most USB-based storage, with the ability to charge those devices' batteries. Apple iPad owners will be disappointed that SYNC with MyFord Touch does not support high-amperage charging. However, the interface does facilitate playback of DRM-protected music. Ford's UI is able to display cover art through an iPod, Zune, or the integrated Gracenote music database. It even sports a 3D cover art album browser.
Although an SD card slot is available for dropping in music, you'll find it monopolized if you purchase the navigation package, since maps are stored on an SD card.
The Sony Audio system, which our test mule includes, comes bundled with HD Radio and tagging support. HD Radio tagging gives you an easy way to remember that new Katy Perry song you were listening to, so you can go buy it later. Of course, you need an iPod, iPhone, or iPad connected to the system in order to transfer the tags to iTunes.
SiriusXM Satellite radio comes standard with SYNC with MyFord Touch, featuring time-shifting that lets you replay songs or broadcasts up to 45 minutes later. There is no shame in jamming out to “Ice Ice Baby” all car ride-long (Ed.: Yes there is).
If you haven't yet jumped into the digital media scene, you do get a CD player underneath the display.
Oddly, SYNC with MyFord Touch does not support AppLink to control phone apps like Pandora. The first-gen SYNC system did, so AppLink's omission is a strange oversight.
A set of composite video inputs is the system's sole video source allowing passengers to connect VCRs, game consoles, DVD players, or other standard-definition devices to the eight-inch LCD. For legal (and hopefully obvious) reasons, the inputs only function when the car is stopped, limiting your Guitar Hero time to rest area bathroom breaks and parking lots.
Video playback isn’t supported natively by SYNC with MyFord Touch. However, if you have an iOS-based device paired with USB and the composite video connection, drivers and passengers can watch videos from iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches.
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.