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Next-Generation Ford SYNC 3 Infotainment System Coming in 2015

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/11/2014 Frank Markus

Next year, Ford will roll out its next generation of what it claims is the best-selling comprehensive connectivity system in the business (over 10 million served). The company is not yet saying what car SYNC 3 will debut on when it begins rolling out next year, but it will proliferate throughout the range by the end of 2016. Oh, and sorry, there’s no updating your current-gen system to 3.0 functionality.

The system is designed to be more intuitive, easier to use, and quicker to respond to inputs. A brand new graphic user interface is designed to look more like a smart-phone screen (but sorry, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will not be integrated at launch -- they are protected for later release). There’s less distracting info on the home screen, with simpler menus. The background color is brightened for better visibility in sun and to reduce fingerprint visibility. Most important, there is a function tray that’s always visible at the bottom of the screen. And of course the screen now supports swipe and pinch like all other such screens. The navigation system supports one-box search, with all info entered in a single line just like in Google maps. Start entering a point-of-interest name and predictive text will suggest popular points of interest in just a few key strokes. Voice entry is more conversational, and the system is programmed to accept shortened names (i.e. “PF Chang’s” instead of “PF Chang China Bistro”). Also, you can now say “twenty-nine hundred” instead of “2-9-0-0.” Most Sync 3 features will remain available by voice as well.

Ford Sync 3© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Sync 3 Other upgrades: If you have a wreck, 9-1-1 Assist will transmit info on what kind of wreck it was and how many seatbelts were in use during the accident. The system supports Siri Eyes Free voice control of iOS devices. System updates can now be done over the air, using the built-in Wi-Fi receiver, and a download started at the Starbucks parking lot will automatically continue when you reach the home Wi-Fi in your garage.

AppLink continues to support third-party applications blessed by Ford, of which there are 40 or more at the moment with loads more promised. There is a home-screen function-tray button for the App page, and audio apps can be stored on the audio source screen. Pandora users with an iOS device will still need to attach a cord, but Ford is looking into a smart-phone app that would handle that connection instead (the way AcuraLink and others do).

Ford Sync 3© Provided by MotorTrend Ford Sync 3

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