Ford’s latest SYNC 3 infotainment system will arrive in the UK and Europe this summer to offer you access to even more connected technology. One of the biggest talking points is the addition of Apple CarPlay, which lets you interact with an Apple smartphone safely as you drive.
The arrival of Apple CarPlay takes vehicle connectivity to a new high in Ford cars. You can simply plug your iPhone into the system and see your favourite apps and functions on the car’s new larger touchscreen display. These applications can be operated directly via the touchscreen, through controls mounted to the steering wheel, or using voice commands.
The voice command function is one significant feature that Ford has worked hard to improve with SYNC 3. Now, the technology is more human-like, recognising commands such as “I need petrol” or “I need coffee”. The system will then show directions to the nearest petrol station or coffee shop on the display, all without you having to lift a finger.
Using Siri, the iPhone’s own voice recognition software, you can also make and receive calls, play a song that is stored on the device, and reply to text messages through voice alone.
It also supports Android Auto, Google’s answer to CarPlay. Google services such as Search, Maps and Play can all be accessed through a dedicated interface.
For better usability, Ford has increased the size of the touchscreen to eight inches and added a pinch to zoom function that mimics the zoom action of a smartphone. The display is also now easier to read, so you can find and register information instantly if you do glance away from the road.
When software updates are needed, you can simply park in the garage or close to home and connect SYNC 3 to your home WiFi network.
The sophistication of SYNC 3 is built on the success of Ford’s previous SYNC systems. The manufacturer partnered with Microsoft over a decade ago to develop in-car software, which the original SYNC system was born out of.
Some were sceptical that such a partnership could work, but the awards that SYNC has won have proven them wrong. Most notably, the system has earned a number of Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Awards for its engineering and design qualities, and value to users.
The arrival of SYNC 3 marks the next step in a significant evolution for the software. While the original SYNC system offers voice commands, iPod connectivity and access to Ford’s Emergency Assistance service, SYNC 2 took things to another level by making it more intuitive.
The voice command aspect became more intelligent, while the steering wheel, voice, and touchscreen controls were brought together for seamless operation. Before SYNC 3, Apple CarPlay was considered to be a rival to SYNC 2 as Ford’s AppLink system already allowed you to access some smartphone apps.
The new partnership with Apple and integration of CarPlay now means that the duo can work together for the benefit of all Ford motorists.
On launch, SYNC 3 will be available in the new Ford Mondeo, S-MAX, Galaxy and Kuga. Fitting it in this variety of models allows more of the manufacturer’s motorists to enjoy the upgrades, as they appeal to a wide range of Ford’s customer base. We can expect more models to feature SYNC 3 in the near future as the carmaker updates the rest of its line-up.
When the new system is launched later this year you can visit your nearest Gates showroom, for a full demonstration. For more information contact us today and speak with a member of the team or you can visit our technology area to view more information on the entire range of technology available in Ford vehicles.