Ford SYNC offers many classes of services organized by calling and messaging functions (911 assistance, handsfree answering, voice texting) and entertainment interfaces (Bluetooth connectivity to smart devices and media players). Navigation services (step-by-directions driving directions, weather reports) and automotive systems checks are also available.
Introduced in 2007, SYNC allows drivers to use voice commands, the steering wheel or radio controls to operate Bluetooth-enabled phones and media players. The software can also convert text and SMS messages to audio, in effect reading messages aloud for the driver. Later versions of SYNC allow users to link and use approved Android and iPhone apps, as well as log in remotely to office computers.
Beginning with the 2016 model year, SYNC 3, based on QNX developed by Blackberry Limited, will replace Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive operating system used by Ford Sync and MyFord Touch. SYNC 3 offers improved versions of many services provided by Ford Sync and MyFord. As a less resource-intensive alternative, SYNC 3 is designed to improve the speed of switching between services and receiving menu options. New functionality includes voice recognition, the ability to ask for driving directions by business category, and wi-fi connectivity to home networks and for automatic updates to the OS. In addition to standard smartphone calling features, SYNC 3 also provides voice-activated music search and radio tuning.