Ford bids good riddance to Microsoft’s MyFord Touch
For some time now, word on the street was that Ford would employ BlackBerry’s QNX technology in its new Sync 3 system instead of relying on Microsoft’s MyFord Touch system. This is a major shift in light of the fact that Ford has been using Microsoft’s technology for more than seven years.
Ford’s chief technical officer and group vice president of Global Product Development, Raj Nair, was quoted, “Ford is delivering an easier way for customers to stay connected and Sync 3 is another step forward in delivering connectivity features customers most want, and they tell us this kind of technology is an important part of their decision to buy our vehicles.”
The new user interface provides three choices on the home screen; phone, audio and navigation, along with a search box to help find locations of contacts. It seems the Sync 3 system will offer users a much brighter screen with higher quality graphics, larger buttons on the screen and features that touch screen users have grown accustomed to, including pinch-to-zoom.
Ford’s Sync 3 system also has voice control options which allow drivers to focus on the road, rather than being forced to constantly divert attention to the display. Additionally, the new system appears to be more intuitive since users are no longer required to call out the specific addresses of certain locations. For example, someone with a hankering for Little Caesar’s pizza can just say “Little Caesar’s” and the Sync 3 system should navigate them to the nearest Little Caesar’s restaurant.
Ford claims their AppLink system has been refined, and will allow users to choose compatible apps from their Android or Apple devices. The comapny says certain apps, like Pandora and Spotify, will operate in a different manner when used on the in-car interface, as opposed to how they work on mobile devices, and the user experience may be enhanced by better voice-control options and larger buttons.
Ford’s global product manager of AppLink, Julius Marchwicki, commented on AppLink, “Overall, AppLink is faster, more responsive and easier to find your apps and the overall design of Sync 3 allows for better integration with smartphones, resulting in a more user-friendly experience.”
When planning the shift to Sync 3, Ford conducted a customer survey to determine what improvements were required. Many respondents complained that the processor used in the infotainment system was too slow, and the company now claims to have upgraded to a more efficient OMAP 5 1.7 Ghz processor. Ford said it wanted the new system’s performance to be on par with smart mobile devices.
The company expects to roll out the Sync 3 system next year when it releases its 2016 Ford and Lincoln models.