Microsoft SYNC

Ford Sync(TM) LogoI just bought a new car yesterday and it came with Microsoft SYNC. SYNC, which apparently comes standard on pretty much every Ford vehicle these days, syncs your mobile device to your car and provides full voice control over that device. Besides the fact that it’s pretty sweet, there are a few other reasons I wanted to blog about it.

Microsoft Rocks

I know, it isn’t a phrase people say very often but frankly, they should. Microsoft takes a lot of bashing from a lot of fronts, but the reality is that they are successful not due to luck, stupid consumers, or momentum – rather, they continue to succeed because they actually do quite a lot of stuff really well.

Take SYNC –¬† I got in the car, it detected my iPhone, and within about a minute it was up, running, and had integrated by entire contact list. In addition, it gave me full voice control over the device. Every time I get in the car now, it automatically Syncs up and is ready to roll – no extra steps.

Same with the “dumbphone” my wife carries. Boom. Synched. Running. Done. What is more, the voice recognition is almost flawless (mumbling out a command while drinking a cup of coffee won’t work, however¬†– I can attest to that).

All in all it’s a fantastic piece of software and I think it’s a good indicator of what the future holds for Microsoft Mobile products.

A Sign of the Times (And of Good Things to Come)

This is the even bigger thing to me.

Ashtrays are no longer standard on Ford vehicles.

SYNC is.

If this isn’t a clear indicator of how completely we’ve integrated phones into our lives, I don’t know what is. And with the success of the iPhone (and WinMo 6.5/7 I hope!), I believe that the “phones” in that phrase are going to very quickly become “SmartPhones.” For a mobile software developer, that’s a beautiful thing to hear.

7 thoughts on “Microsoft SYNC

  1. Peter

    Got it on my Focus last year and it’s pretty cool. I just wish that Ford would trust their customers to do their own updates for the most part. We’ve been waiting for the “2.0” release for some time and there’s a lot of discussion about whether customers should be allowed to install the updates in a lot of cases. I can understand if it really does need new hardware to work, but when it doesn’t, let us do it on our own rather than forcing us to have a dealer do it. :(

    Also, it doesn’t seem to work well with Podcasts on my Zune for some reason. Won’t recognize them without browsing the device.

    Still, for the flaws about which I grumble, they’re relatively minor. The phone works, the USB->Media device works, etc. You need to be somewhat specific when using the voice activation to call people or it will pick someone close to, but not quite, the person you want to call. :) We’ve come a long way w/ voice recognition, though. I still remember when it used to be along the lines of “yes, that was definitely a voice.”

  2. Dean Roberts

    My wife’s Fusion has Sync. It works extremely well! I really like being able to call out a play list or artist by name.

  3. Kevin White

    You know, the one thing I miss about my Windows Mobile phone is voice dialing. I had it on my 8525 and I used it all the time. But only in my car. I’ve seen people using it in public and it’s just….. *bleep* “SAY A COMMAND” “CALL SALLY” “DIALING SALLY AT HOME”

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