You might ask the question: “What is Microsoft Sync”?
I would respond to you that it is a computer system that makes your life much easier by giving you a computer inside your car that is voice aware, touch aware, and can interact with any device using either Bluetooth or with a cable. Did I mention only Ford is the only car manufacturer to give you this option?
You can manipulate the Sync system in you Lincoln MKT very easily. Not only is it very easy and intuitive to use because of the touch and voice input system, it helps with your general safety while keeping you connected with the digital world.
While I am assuming most of you reading this blog a little more technically inclined, I want to personally assure you that using the Microsoft Sync features are a total breeze. Many people have asked me things like:
- With all that technology it must be hard to operate. Did you have to read a manual?
- It must be distracting while you are on the road.
To the people that asked me these questions my response was:
1.) I did get a really good 10 minute overview of the car from the Winnipeg Ford dealership. How ever the icons on the buttons were big and easy to read. The touch screen on the console was bright and easy to read as well. Most items could be reached with very few click. Even better almost all the commands we voice activated using a button directly on the steering wheel. I didn’t have to read the manual.
2.) It isn’t distracting because the size of the screen, the ergonomic position of the buttons and ease of the voice commands.
Because of how Microsoft designed the structure of the commands it was very easy to navigate software. Because all of the commands were on the screen even novices can easily figure out the voice commands.
For example to use you phone to call someone you would hit the talk button on the steering wheel.
- You would say Dial
- You would confirm by saying “yes”
- You would say the phone number
- You would confirm by saying “yes”
- You would say “Dial” to dial the phone number you dictated to the car.
If you have a new enough phone the sync software will automatically import your phone numbers and names into it’s system. You could call a person by using their name as well. With newer phones like my wife’s phone you can dictate to Sync and it will send a text message to a person in your contacts list!
Isn’t that amazing? All text messages sent to the phone are displayed on the screen?
This allows you the ability to keep focus on the road and avoid a ticket from the cops as Texting is/will be ticketable driving offense. Much like it’s competitors Ford’s Sync software can make emergency 911 calls for you. While I didn’t have the need to use it I was told it works quite well.
Small things like welcoming you into the car in the morning or afternoon make the MKT feel like it was from Science fiction story from my youth. “Dave, What are you doing…. Dave?”. The only thing with this “story” is that this isn’t science fiction!
Microsoft Sync can work with your MP3 player as well. I had the chance to use both a Zune,iPod Touch and a SanDisk Sansa. The Zune and iPod could be operated by just plugging in the USB cord into the device and then plugging them into the arm rest. Both devices could be completely controlled through voice commands or the touch screen. The Sansa could only be connected using a male-to-male headphone wire. To credit Sync, the Sansa only has one way communication and therefore all commands must be made on the device itself and you would have no visual information on the Sync Screen.
Going back to the ease of use, I used a couple people (who will remain anonymous) to test just how easy someone without any training would do with the voice commands. The people that tested the Sync Software are self described technology noobs. The hardest thing for them was finding where the voice command button was. Once they got the system started, they easily walked through the voice command and made heir first call very quickly.
This is the lat post in the “Lincoln MKT 2010 review” series. I hope you enjoyed it.