Vehicle entertainment systems that let you listen to your favorite tune or radio station have remained decidedly low-tech. Attempts at updating entertainment and navigation systems in vehicles with voice activation and swipe screens have been attempted since 2007 with limited success. According to Alex Perdikis at Koons Automotive, all of that is changing with Ford’s Sync 3, its newest and most innovative system. Sync 3 is available on select models now and will be included in all Ford and Lincolns by the end of 2016. By all accounts, it’s faster, better and chock full of standard and optional features.
Sync 3 is Full of Surprises
Previous versions of Sync used a Microsoft platform. Sync 3 is a completely new package using QNX, a platform owned by BlackBerry. QNX is the most widely used car entertainment operating system and its superiority shows. The result is a more up-to-date look, greater responsiveness and more intuitive features. Sync 3 uses a capacitive screen just like tablets and smartphones. The buttons are better placed, bigger and the system responds with a light touch. Swiping, pinching and zooming functions are easily performed and response time is phenomenal.
Plays Well With Others
Unlike its immediate predecessor, Sync 3 supports AppLink. Drivers with select smartphones can connect to Sync 3 with a USB cable and enjoy full use of Pandora, Spotify and other apps. If you have an iPhone with Siri, you can connect via Bluetooth and use the steering wheel voice button for hands-free queries. Sync 3 will automatically discover compatible apps on your smartphone. CarPlay and Android Auto are also supported.
A Smarter User- Friendly Interface
Along with crashes and glitches, the rap against programs like Sync has been that the interface is difficult and response times excruciatingly slow. Sync 3 boasts a much improved and easy-to-use interface. Brighter and easier to see, the new interface has a 3-window view with a tool tray on the bottom. The left window is for navigation, upper right for audio and lower right for phone. Voice commands are read accurately and smartly, with no need to match exact wording.
Sync 3 has the ability to connect to a compatible cellphone for a no-charge feature called 911 Assist®. 911 Assist calls for help in case of accident even if you cannot make a call. Sync 3 also promotes safety because its features are hands-free, letting you concentrate on the road.
As new updates become available, Sync 3 automatically downloads and installs them through a home Wi-Fi connection.
Sync 3 is clearly a step above previous versions and outshines its competition. Its sleek interface, fast response time and application compatibility prove that Ford’s commitment to innovation is not an empty promise. If staying in touch, listening to music and accurate navigation are important to you, you don’t have to look any further than Ford’s Sync 3.