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Are You N-Sync?

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I've given it two tries now -- and though I can get Bluetooth to join forces with my iPhone, and successfully navigated my way to the churrascaria for dinner, I can't get Ford's Sync system to fully cooperate with my entertainment needs.

After testing in a Lincoln MKZ and a Ford Fusion, I'm not quite sure what the problem is. The navigation system responds to my dulcet-toned voice just fine. The phone dialer? It loves the sound of me calling out numbers like a bingo chief.

But in neither car would Sync play my iPhone's tunes. The problem has to have something to do with the USB connection; whenever I try to load track names into Sync, it tells me "USB Removed," even though it's still firmly plugged in. I've tried with two different cables that subsequently linked up to my MacBook, no problems.

With the latest firmware update, it doesn't seem to be the iPhone -- it's clearly a compatibility issue. We've heard of other users having iPhone issues -- off the record, some Ford folks confirmed they've had iPhone problems with their new $395 baby.

With enough of them out there, we want your feedback. If you're a Sync owner, have you found it useful? What are some tricks you've learned, or things you've given up on in frustration? And would simple Bluetooth plus an iPod interface, like Cadillac's CTS, be good enough for the rest of you? Tell us in a comment below.
 
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Comments (13)
  1. The iPod connection on the EX35 is great.....no complaints there.
     
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  2. I recently got a new Focus (Feb) with sync fitted. I was not sure about it before I got the car, but thought I'd give it a shot. Now having used it for over a month, I think it is great and I am very glad I got it.
    I works flawlwessly with my motorola phone.
    The USB connection to my 8Gig flash drive gives easy access to my music, and remarkably easy to use with voice commands.
    My PDA can even stream music through the car over the bluetooth system if required, and I connect my aftermarket Sirius receiver (more features that the std Ford receiver) through the Aux input.
    My only minor gripes are:
    - once I use the USB connection, I can't restart the Aux input (sat receiver) until the USB is unplugged again.
    -I have not worked out if it is possible to set the volume level of the vehicle's "spoken" feedback to a lower level relative to the radio / music volume level.
    Other than that it is great and I look forward to keeping this level of functionality in future vehicles.
     
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  3. Sync is a MS product. IPOD and IPHONE come from, well, that other computer company. Duh? And you use a computer from, well, that other company.
     
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  4. "I’m not quite sure what the problem is." The problem is the source. No doubt MS will get a upgrade out (for a price) in a couple of years.
     
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  5. Sync cannot mask the fact that the Focus is a subpar vehicle. It's right there with the Cobalt. The styling and new sheet metal can't hide the fact that the vehicle is 10 years old with an outdated engine and transmission.

    Sync is not the "save all" for Ford like they think....Ford really needs to focus on wind noise and powertrain....and stop using Korean tires!
     
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  6. I've been using a 16GB iPhone with Sync in my MKZ for a couple of months now. I have not had the problems you've described. The bluetooth phone connection has worked flawlessly.

    I also listen to my iPhone via USB on my into work with very few issues. There have been a couple of times where I have had to unplug-and-re-plug the dock connector in the phone - but nothing significant.

    What I have been most impressed with is the voice recognition - much better than any other voice recognition system I have used.
     
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  7. are you surprised. My PS3 doesn't like PCs or MS USB steering wheels. What makes you think the MS Sync is going to wrap its big lovin' arm around anything Apple?
     
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  8. Although I mostly use Sync to make phone calls the Motorola Q works flawlessly in my MKX.
     
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  9. The Sync in my Milan is truly amazing. I am a very picky consumer, and after my brother traded in his Acura TL for an Edge (a feat in itself, but he needed AWD), he raved highly about the Sync. He works in IT an is a gadget guy, I am not.

    In my car, the sync system is so effortless once you run through the initial pairing. My 160GB Ipod Classic has never sounded better than when hooked up to the sync system. Best of all, I like being able to verbally pick a track, artist or song at a whim!

    I do agree with the previous poster that this is not the save all for Ford, but I must say it was a huge consideration for me, and now that I have used it, it reaffirms my purchase decision. Plus, I am very happy with the car as well.

    I had one issue in the beginning. The USB would say "not connected" when my Ipod or memory stick was plugged in. It turns out that the USB cable on the Sync system was not properly plugged in at the factory. They seated the plug into the harness, and I was on my way!
     
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  10. I love mine... I have found that some MP3's that I downloaded from the internet will not play - a protected content issue, no doubt - but anything that ended up on my ipod from a CD is no problem at all. I have a shuffle and I connect it through the USB. Like other users, I sometimes have to unplug and replug it, but nothing that ruffles my feathers at all...

    It is still pretty early in its development, and I have nothing but confidence in Ford and Microsoft. I'm willing to give it a little time to work itself out, but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 high - my satisfaction is an easy 9 plus...
     
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  11. I purchased a 2010 Fusion, The Sync system has failed two times, 1st they(Ford) replaced a unit for me. The Sync would how"USB empty" but had power to my I phone, 2nd time same message but now power to the phone. went to take the car in and it started working for a short period of time.
    I'm now taking it in once again. something is shutting down the Sync system.DC
     
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  12. I have found the Sync system to work great. I started with a 2008 Ford Explorer and a 3rd-Gen Ipod. It worked, but not everything. It would not play protected music, and would not play playlists. Also, my phone book on my cell would not sync with the system, though I was able to make calls. After updating the system a year later, though, that was all fixed, except that I still could not play playlists on my Ipod. After loosing my Ipod, I bought a Zune, and LOVE it. It works perfectly, which is expected. I think that really, the problem is with older devices working. And even most of those work, mostly. ;-)
     
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  13. I am having issues with my volume on my synced iphone. I have to turn up my stereo volume really loud to hear the other person. This is of course with my iphone turned up also. Any suggestions.
     
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