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SilasX

Sync has unnacceptable design

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I was considering getting a new car and going with a Ford just to get the SYNC system. It seemed like it would be pretty convenient. Not only did it fail, it failed in ways that never should have made it past a competent designer.

 

My full review is on my blog post, sync sucks, but I will summarize here what turned me away.

 

First of all, despite the literature claiming podcasts are supported, they really aren't. While testing it out at two dealerships (who by the way never seem to have people qualified to use sync) there was no way to call out a specific podcast without hunting down obscure keywords I couldn't possibly know offhand. Despite the tracks on a podcast having names, it failed to recognize me asking for them specifically, and I couldn't switch to other podcasts. The sync manual did not tell how to navigate podcasts in any meaningful way beyond that "it can play them".

 

It does not let me stop the car and then come back to where I left off. Rather, anytime you start, you get a lecture about your metadata. It is, in short, quite a hassle to get your mp3 player playing what you want when you come back to your car, despite convenience being the entire point of the system, since you have to go through a few voice menus and still not get back to where it was when you stopped.

 

Furthermore, even though the designers appear to have taken extra care to have a special holding place just for my mp3 player, that place *doesn't hide it from view*, in contravention of years of standard practice regarding valuables left in car. This again means I have to take it off and hide it each time, eliminating the entire convenience aspect.

 

How to improve? Simply fix the things I have listed on my blog post, which really aren't that hard to do. Better yet, just hire me onto the design team. I don't have any user interface design experience in any professional capacity, but I do work as an engineer in my day job, and was capable of noticing design shortcomings that, if remedied, would make the product several times more valuable. Together, that combination makes me more than qualified to work at such a job.

 

With these shortcomings, however, I cannot possibly justify buying a car with sync.

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First of all, despite the literature claiming podcasts are supported, they really aren't. While testing it out at two dealerships (who by the way never seem to have people qualified to use sync) there was no way to call out a specific podcast without hunting down obscure keywords I couldn't possibly know offhand. Despite the tracks on a podcast having names, it failed to recognize me asking for them specifically, and I couldn't switch to other podcasts. The sync manual did not tell how to navigate podcasts in any meaningful way beyond that "it can play them".

I'm not sure why you would say that podcasts are not supported. It sounds like you are expressing frustration with the need to know EXACTLY what to say when using the voice activation elements of Sync. You absolutely do have to know the exact name of your podcast in order to play it by voice. This applies to ANY track on your iPod, not just podcasts. Such simple commands as "Play Genre Podcast" or "Play Album This American Life" will get podcast playing via voice. I subscribe to the Bob and Tom podcast and use a simple playlist to easily play all 4 hour long parts of their daily show in order without intervention. Additionally, I would not hesitate to recommend a NAV system to any potential Sync buyer as the touch screen controls for the iPod and phone are worth the the price alone. Sync does not have a "browse" function and a touch screen adds this feature.

 

It does not let me stop the car and then come back to where I left off. Rather, anytime you start, you get a lecture about your metadata. It is, in short, quite a hassle to get your mp3 player playing what you want when you come back to your car, despite convenience being the entire point of the system, since you have to go through a few voice menus and still not get back to where it was when you stopped.

I never have this problem unless I unjack my iPod BEFORE turning off my car or after restarting my car. I'm sure you had little time to learn the nuances of Sync, but this is a trick all Sync users surely know by now.

 

Furthermore, even though the designers appear to have taken extra care to have a special holding place just for my mp3 player, that place *doesn't hide it from view*, in contravention of years of standard practice regarding valuables left in car. This again means I have to take it off and hide it each time, eliminating the entire convenience aspect.

I assume you tested a Focus (not having read your blog). That is indeed a poor design choice, however I have no such issue with my Fusion as the USB port is in the center console.

 

How to improve? Simply fix the things I have listed on my blog post, which really aren't that hard to do. Better yet, just hire me onto the design team. I don't have any user interface design experience in any professional capacity, but I do work as an engineer in my day job, and was capable of noticing design shortcomings that, if remedied, would make the product several times more valuable. Together, that combination makes me more than qualified to work at such a job.

Remember Sync is brand new. The 1.1 version was JUST released. Things will undoubtedly improve in future revisions, but I still think the current Sync is a great start and worth owning.

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I'm not sure why you would say that podcasts are not supported. It sounds like you are expressing frustration with the need to know EXACTLY what to say when using the voice activation elements of Sync.

 

No, frustration with the EXACT command not being in the manual. All the manual tells you is how to make it start playing random podcasts. It barely acknowledges the existence of podcasts.

 

You absolutely do have to know the exact name of your podcast in order to play it by voice.

 

And I did, when I tested it out. One of them was "Japanese101" and I said "Play Podcast Japanese101", and it didn't work, after trying about ten times, plus several variations.

 

This applies to ANY track on your iPod, not just podcasts. Such simple commands as "Play Genre Podcast" or "Play Album This American Life" will get podcast playing via voice. I subscribe to the Bob and Tom podcast and use a simple playlist to easily play all 4 hour long parts of their daily show in order without intervention.

 

I admit I never tried "Play Album Japanese101", but then, I don't normally expect commands not listed in a manual (for what I'm trying to do) to work. Is that how sync is supposed to work? You get to guess the commands?

 

And why would I want to "Play Genre Podcast"? When would I want it to just play random podcasts (something I had no trouble making it do btw)? I'm always going to want it to play a specific podcast, and be able to call out tracks on it like with other kinds of tracks. And why should I have to make something into a playlist, when, by being a podcast, it's already been organized for me?

 

I never have this problem unless I unjack my iPod BEFORE turning off my car or after restarting my car. I'm sure you had little time to learn the nuances of Sync, but this is a trick all Sync users surely know by now.

 

I had PLENTY of time to learn the nuances (sitting in with a saleman who knew less than I did for 30 minutes), and it never worked like that -- I had to go through telling it to go to USB each time I started it up.

 

I assume you tested a Focus (not having read your blog).

 

Please do so, I'm interested in hearing more rationalizations for the other shortcomings.

 

Remember Sync is brand new. The 1.1 version was JUST released.

 

The deficiencies I listed should never have made it past a test run or made it into a version 1.0.

 

Things will undoubtedly improve in future revisions,

 

I see no such plans in any of their listed upcoming features.

 

but I still think the current Sync is a great start and worth owning.

 

That's because you have very low expectations of it. When I look at sync, I ask what conveniences it offers beyond what I already have with a one-way audio input jack. Considering that it still makes me fiddle around with it each time I get in, and can't navigate podcasts, and can't have it remember where I was when I turned off the engine or that I want it to shuffle, 90% of the potential gain in convenience just isn't there.

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I had PLENTY of time to learn the nuances (sitting in with a saleman who knew less than I did for 30 minutes), and it never worked like that -- I had to go through telling it to go to USB each time I started it up.

 

Yes, this is an annoying bug for sure. It seems to affect some people more than others. I get it maybe once in every dozen or so times I power-cycle the car. Every other time it goes back to USB properly. I've got a Fusion with the Nav headunit and Sync.

 

 

Please do so, I'm interested in hearing more rationalizations for the other shortcomings.

 

I will check it out also.

 

 

The deficiencies I listed should never have made it past a test run or made it into a version 1.0.

 

I think there's little doubt it was rushed to market and suffers from a few shortcomings and bugs as a result.

 

 

That's because you have very low expectations of it. When I look at sync, I ask what conveniences it offers beyond what I already have with a one-way audio input jack. Considering that it still makes me fiddle around with it each time I get in, and can't navigate podcasts, and can't have it remember where I was when I turned off the engine or that I want it to shuffle, 90% of the potential gain in convenience just isn't there.

 

You're definitely welcome to your opinion and I'm sorry Sync disappointed you so much. Some people (myself included) never listen to podcasts and so this huge deficiency you speak of isn't the end of the world. I still think Sync can be convenient and I'm glad I have it, particular with the Nav headunit, which eliminates the need to use voice commands unless I really want to, and provides a convenient interface. It's too bad it's not available on the Focus. (And yes it's sad where they put the USB port on the Focus--I think in all other vehicles that have Sync it's hidden away in the center console. Still, they've been selling Sync-equipped Focuses like crazy.)

 

For me there are a few big "problems" with my experience:

- voice recognition could be better, although this affects the nav headunit more than Sync itself, as I have more troubles with it understanding my "user device" or "phone" main menu options than anything else

 

- music library navigation could be better with a "back" button. On the nav unit, you get touch-based access to your library, in a nice listing format. However, let's say I start with hitting Artists, and then picking an artist, and then pick one of their albums, and then I'm presented with a track listing for the album. I notice the song I want isn't on this album. I'd like to be able to hit "back" and go back to the artist's album listing and pick another album. Instead I have to go right back to the media library root and go back through. kind of annoying.

 

- similarly next time you go into the media library, you should be where you just were, similar to how the ipod works. Now, you just go back to the media library root.

 

- one last annoying media library deficiency: selecting a playlist always starts it playing from the first track (or a random track if shuffle is on), instead of presenting you a listing of tracks in the playlist and allowing you to pick your starting track. They do this for albums, so why not for playlists?

 

Cheers!

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Some thoughts after reading your blog posting:

 

Point 1 is valid. I think most sales staff at most dealers could use more product knowledge in general, not just with Sync.

 

In point 2, you mention there are no forums or discussions on the syncmyride website. There are. The software they use for it absolutely sucks, but there is a forum. It's called Owner To Owner. link: http://boards.synccommunity.com/n/pfx/foru...&listMode=0

 

Point 3 I have no comment on since I don't do podcasts.

 

Point 4 as I mentioned in my last post seems to affect the Focus only and is an unfortunate inconvenience. I don't think it totally undermines the usefulness of Sync for most of us, however. Particularly, those of us with something other than a Focus.

 

Point 5: just pull the door handle a bit to turn off the radio. For your CONVENIENCE, Ford keeps the power going to the moonroof, power windows, and radio, until you open the door. If I need to disconnect my iPod and don't want it to re-index every time, I turn off the car, pop my door handle a wee bit, and then disconnect the iPod before fully opening my door. Make sure you re-connect the iPod before turning on the car and you should be much happier. Sync only attempts to re-index your iPod every time because you've been removing it and/or re-connecting it while the stereo is on, so it assumes you're connecting something new and re-scans it. If you have problems with your tags, it will encounter those problems every time you re-index. Fixing your tags will make this go away. Because Sync exclusively uses those tags for navigating your files, I don't think it's unreasonable for it to insist you fill in an Artist, Album, Track name, and genre for your music.

 

Point 6: you can use the "outer" button in that row to toggle media functions, and it's pretty useful too. I actually use it almost as much as the voice command button. You get used to the thumb travel. At this point I think you are just nit-picking.

 

Point 7: just hit the next track button on your steering wheel (right-side, 2nd row, outer column, easy to reach) to advance to some other randomly chosen track on the playlist. I agree thought that it's annoying you can't pick a starting song on a playlist. I mentioned it in my posting above.

 

Point 8: I can't comment, as I always have my phone connected since the moment I picked up my car from the dealership. There must be a way out of that though, I'm sure.

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One last thing: as someone already mentioned, version 1.1 of Sync is now out and seems to directly address at least some of your issues!

 

SYNC Connectivity Enhancement Release

Version 1.1

This release includes Connectivity Enhancements which improve the reliability of both Bluetooth and USB connections to SYNC. The Bluetooth enhancements improve the stability of hands-free calls, call waiting, caller ID, multiple call handling and other mobile phone features. The USB enhancements improve support for media players and the playing of file formats and podcasts. (Part Number: 9L3T-14D544-AC)

 

Cheers!

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In point 2, you mention there are no forums or discussions on the syncmyride website. There are. The software they use for it absolutely sucks, but there is a forum. It's called Owner To Owner. link: http://boards.synccommunity.com/n/pfx/foru...&listMode=0

 

Okay, I missed that. But it doesn't actually let you participate until you've taken the plunge and bought a Ford sync vehicle.

 

Point 3 I have no comment on since I don't do podcasts.

 

Do you "do" agreement with my claim that false advertising is not cool?

 

Point 5: just pull the door handle a bit to turn off the radio. For your CONVENIENCE, Ford keeps the power going to the moonroof, power windows, and radio, until you open the door. If I need to disconnect my iPod and don't want it to re-index every time, I turn off the car, pop my door handle a wee bit, and then disconnect the iPod before fully opening my door.

 

Right, so I have go through this bizarre ritual each time I leave my car, even though the whole point of getting sync was to avoid such rituals. And it *still* can't pause and pick up where I left off -- not even an option!

 

Make sure you re-connect the iPod before turning on the car and you should be much happier. Sync only attempts to re-index your iPod every time because you've been removing it and/or re-connecting it while the stereo is on, so it assumes you're connecting something new and re-scans it.

 

Sorry, in my tests, it did this every time, even if I took the precautions you listed.

 

If you have problems with your tags, it will encounter those problems every time you re-index. Fixing your tags will make this go away. Because Sync exclusively uses those tags for navigating your files, I don't think it's unreasonable for it to insist you fill in an Artist, Album, Track name, and genre for your music.

 

Lack of certain metadata is not a problem for me if I made the tracks myself (one of my intended uses of a media player while driving is for non-music tracks that I hand-selected or generated for a specific purpose.) What's happening here is that the designers violated another cardinal rule, which is not to let failures cascade: why tell me about the lacking metadata every time? With a long warning?

 

Point 6: you can use the "outer" button in that row to toggle media functions, and it's pretty useful too. I actually use it almost as much as the voice command button. You get used to the thumb travel. At this point I think you are just nit-picking.

 

Look, I did two ~25 min test drives. I found that reaching for the voice button (you know, the centerpiece of this entire project that gets promoted in all of their sync marketing) is uncomfortable because of how you have to reach and curl over with your thumb. It would be an irritation each and every time I wanted to use the highly-promoted voice feature. There's no excuse for something like that. I'm supposed to ENJOY the system, not "get used" to thumb contortions. Again, failure to adhere to basic user interface design principles: put the most-used stuff (or, you know, the stuff you spend millions promoting) where it's easiest to access.

 

Point 7: just hit the next track button on your steering wheel (right-side, 2nd row, outer column, easy to reach) to advance to some other randomly chosen track on the playlist. I agree thought that it's annoying you can't pick a starting song on a playlist. I mentioned it in my posting above.

 

I don't think you understand the criticism, or at least what was happening there. When I went to that playlist and advanced to the next track (which yes, I knew how to do -- and even did by voice!), it advanced to the next alphabetical track each time -- it wasn't automatically set to shuffle. (Idea that never occurred to multi-million dollar design team: by default, make podcasts play from oldest to newest; albums play from first to last; and playlists in random order. Where's my check?) Fine, so I set it to shuffle. But then, when I start the car up again, surprise surprise, asking for that playlist takes me to the *same* first track, and *doesn't* shuffle.

 

Yeah, it's sure going to be convenient telling it to shuffle that playlist (every playlist) every time I drive the car, right?

 

Point 8: I can't comment, as I always have my phone connected since the moment I picked up my car from the dealership. There must be a way out of that though, I'm sure.

 

Can you at least comment on whether hitting the phone button should disable all buttons that normally make the stereo play from a specific source?

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Actually, you can join the Sync My Ride forum before purchasing a car. Just go to Ford's website, browse for a vehicle, view the window sticker and copy the VIN. Use that to register.

 

As for Japanese101 you will probably have to say Japanese one hundred and one. You can ask Sync "what's this" and it will respond. Just listen how Sync pronounces it.

 

I personally use an external hard drive with 10,000 mp3s on it. It works flawlessly and I'm quite pleased.

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Actually, you can join the Sync My Ride forum before purchasing a car. Just go to Ford's website, browse for a vehicle, view the window sticker and copy the VIN. Use that to register.

 

Oh, okay, so I was wrong to say you have to be an owner. In reality, you simply have to defraud Ford to use the forum. I guess that's better, somehow.

 

As for Japanese101 you will probably have to say Japanese one hundred and one.

 

Those podcasts are the only tracks on my entire iPod that begin with "Japanese". If it can't figure out at least to go to one of them, that counts as another unacceptable design flaw. (And of course I did try various ways of calling it out, and keep in mind it could find other tracks from just a piece of the name.)

 

You can ask Sync "what's this" and it will respond. Just listen how Sync pronounces it.

 

So, to find out what command I'm supposed to use to get to a specific podcast, I have to, er, know the command that gets me to it first. Have you heard of a "catch 22"?

 

And then of course, if I ever do get to the podcast, I can ... um, go forward and back and that's about it.\

 

OH! How about doing what ever podcast listener wants to do, which is to jump to the first podcast they haven't listened to (information which is in the metadata) and then go forward in the series? Let's see, where's the command for that. Hm, I'm looking in the manual at podcasts ... okay, so I can tell it to play the genre "podcast". Hm. Not there.

 

I personally use an external hard drive with 10,000 mp3s on it. It works flawlessly and I'm quite pleased.

 

You're pleased with having to yank out an entire hard drive and then stuff it away each time you enter/leave the car? Or are you driving one of the Fords without that fundamental design flaw?

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Oh, okay, so I was wrong to say you have to be an owner. In reality, you simply have to defraud Ford to use the forum. I guess that's better, somehow.

 

 

 

Those podcasts are the only tracks on my entire iPod that begin with "Japanese". If it can't figure out at least to go to one of them, that counts as another unacceptable design flaw. (And of course I did try various ways of calling it out, and keep in mind it could find other tracks from just a piece of the name.)

 

 

 

So, to find out what command I'm supposed to use to get to a specific podcast, I have to, er, know the command that gets me to it first. Have you heard of a "catch 22"?

 

And then of course, if I ever do get to the podcast, I can ... um, go forward and back and that's about it.\

 

OH! How about doing what ever podcast listener wants to do, which is to jump to the first podcast they haven't listened to (information which is in the metadata) and then go forward in the series? Let's see, where's the command for that. Hm, I'm looking in the manual at podcasts ... okay, so I can tell it to play the genre "podcast". Hm. Not there.

 

 

 

You're pleased with having to yank out an entire hard drive and then stuff it away each time you enter/leave the car? Or are you driving one of the Fords without that fundamental design flaw?

 

There is no catch 22. You can explore your USB device and find the podcast you want to play. Then use the What's This command.

 

I keep my hard drive mounted under the dash, out of site except for the USB cable. I only take it in when I have new songs to add. And with 10,000 mp3s, this is not very often.

 

I just thank my lucky stars I'm not as bitter as you are about something as meaningless as a feature in my vehicle. Get a grip man. There are more important things in life.

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There is no catch 22. You can explore your USB device and find the podcast you want to play.

 

How? Via the ultra-slow voice menu option that goes through everything on my media player? By using the hand-controls that somehow still couldn't navigate to the podcast? By following podcast instructions that aren't in the manual?

 

I keep my hard drive mounted under the dash, out of site except for the USB cable.

 

So what, you modded your vehicle to support this? If I'm going to mod my vehicle, I might as well not have sync, and apply the money toward a better system that actually lets me get to my podcasts (and pauses on engine stop, and goes right to where it left off when I come back, and does not make my media player visible, and can remember to shuffle, and automatically plays podcasts in the right order, etc etc etc), which have mode metadata than you could ever want, without a huge amount of hassle.

 

And great planning there, I'm sure thieves will never suspect the cable is connected to anything. :rolleyes:

 

I just thank my lucky stars I'm not as bitter as you are about something as meaningless as a feature in my vehicle.

 

Let's get one thing straight: SYNC is not a "feature in my vehicle". I just spent a lot of time test driving, that's all. Give me some credit. I wasn't stupid enough to actually pay for a ford car with this unacceptably designed feature.

 

My bitterness will end when Ford and Microsoft hire competent people, like me, to design the products they attempt to use to get people to come over.

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I've never seen anyone so pissed without even spending any money. You're right dude. Sync is not for you. By all means move on; we don't need any trolls in this forum. The people who have responded to your post have tried to address your comments calmly and without disdain. Your vitriole is misdirected at those who earnestly tried to help expand your understanding. There is no need to act like a jerk.

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I've never seen anyone so pissed without even spending any money. You're right dude. Sync is not for you. By all means move on; we don't need any trolls in this forum. The people who have responded to your post have tried to address your comments calmly and without disdain. Your vitriole is misdirected at those who earnestly tried to help expand your understanding. There is no need to act like a jerk.

 

LOL very well put, e. I tried for well quite some time to come up with a reasonably polite way to express those exact same thoughts. I'm glad to see you beat me to it.

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SilasX you have an answer for everything. I pray to God Ford & Microsoft never hire you. Go back to your blog and leave this forum.

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Yep, that's right, guys. If I express any negative opinion about the merit of SYNC's design, whatsoever, then obviously, I'm a troll. This forum is only for people who want to pad sync's designer's egos. Anyone who in any way deviates from that is obviously trolling because not one single designer anywhere at Ford or Microsoft wants to know any way they can improve this system so as to further rook people into giving them funds to head off their legacy obligations.

 

Obviously, it would be a grave error for anyone at Ford to hire me because I obviously lack any ability to in any way contribute to the design of a system such that it becomes easier for the customer to actually use. I am not at all versed in serious design principles, such as those that say:

 

-You should force the user to leave valuables in plain view in their car.

-It should be uncomfortable to use a key selling-point feature, especially if that feature is frequently used.

-Adding a simple function that 99% of users would want (to listen to podcasts in order if they listen to podcats) is a really stupid idea.

-It should be very, VERY difficult to try out the system if the user finds the main promotional site.

-Default settings should NEVER match what most users want, and they should have to reset any deviations therefrom, every single time they invoke any product feature.

-You should not see the reaction of one single typcial user before releasing the product.

 

If only I could gain the ray of blissful insight that could make me understand the deep thought that went into sync, I wouldn't be making these terrorist criticisms.

 

Shame on me.

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The majority of your criticisms are quite valid; the difference between constructive criticism and what you've presented both in your blog and in this thread are those of attitude and tone.

 

It's good to have differing perspectives. You've said what you came to say. I hope the Ford/Microsoft engineers do take at least some of your suggestions and criticisms constructively to heart.

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The majority of your criticisms are quite valid; the difference between constructive criticism and what you've presented both in your blog and in this thread are those of attitude and tone.

 

It's good to have differing perspectives. You've said what you came to say. I hope the Ford/Microsoft engineers do take at least some of your suggestions and criticisms constructively to heart.

 

Non-constructive criticism: It is unnacceptable for hitting one button to disable the car's audio until the next power cycle.

Constructive criticism: It is unnacceptable for hitting one button to disable the car's audio until the next power cycle, but, like, not if that hurts your feelings or anything.

 

j/k, j/k, I understand that there's a tactful way to make the criticisms, and indeed, I probably should have taken a prescription-grade chill pill before responding to anyone. (And maybe 10 if in fact I had bought the car.)

 

Nevertheless, you kind of have to wonder how such abysmal errors creep in. How could an amature find so many flaws after spending less than one hour with it, when the design team has had millions of dollars and millions of man-hours?

 

I would venture that it's because no one actually wants to put their "rapport" on the line to speak up against someone's poor design practices. That is, no one wants to say, "Listen to me, you ignorant slut. There is no reason for the driver to be unable to stop the system's search for a phone and return to the radio. You may go forward with the release, but not with my name on it." :-P

 

Ford/Microsoft could immensely increase product value by taking me on. But that -- and my necessary attitude -- are precisely why it will never happen.

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Nevertheless, you kind of have to wonder how such abysmal errors creep in. How could an amature find so many flaws after spending less than one hour with it, when the design team has had millions of dollars and millions of man-hours?

 

Ok, let's reboot since you've mellowed a bit . . .

 

While I agree that Sync could be better, I am not surprised it has problems and limitations. Having suffered through Windows 95a, b and c, Windows Millenium and Vista, I expected issues. Microsoft is by no means infallible and Sync is a first generation product. However, the upgradability of Sync lends me hope that they will address the issues and improve the interface. After all, despite the abyssmal OS failures listed above, Windows 98 and XP were each mature, successful and long lived products. I applaud Microsoft and Ford's efforts to bring some measure of convenience and safety to the in-vehcile entertainment and communications experience. Lord knows we need it since everyone is on their damn cell phone all the time.

 

And for those who say the Linux community or Apple would do this better, I for one prefer not to compile my car's kernel just to get wireless communication working and do not fancy expensive, round Apple-branded cars that only come in white or black and require new gas pump attachments every model year.

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I'm currently only using my Sync for the cell phone connection. Unfortunately, my LG CU575 isnt fully compatible at this time, so I dont have a phone book. Sync is a new product and has bugs. Its Microsoft (translated Evil Empire). That pretty much explains why it is buggy and overly complicated. I still havent spent the time to really familiarize myself with the system, but with any Microsoft product, patches will come and might help the bugs and possibly improve the user interface. Patience. I am frustrated too, but I bought my car for the many other features that were included (SAP, V6, etc). Sync is cool, but I wouldnt expect it to be the second coming. There is probably a few years before its going to be a simple, stable and useful toy, er, excuse me, tool.

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I'm currently only using my Sync for the cell phone connection. Unfortunately, my LG CU575 isnt fully compatible at this time, so I dont have a phone book. Sync is a new product and has bugs. Its Microsoft (translated Evil Empire). That pretty much explains why it is buggy and overly complicated. I still havent spent the time to really familiarize myself with the system, but with any Microsoft product, patches will come and might help the bugs and possibly improve the user interface. Patience. I am frustrated too, but I bought my car for the many other features that were included (SAP, V6, etc). Sync is cool, but I wouldnt expect it to be the second coming. There is probably a few years before its going to be a simple, stable and useful toy, er, excuse me, tool.

 

I think you're being a bit harsh. If the product didn't have Microsoft's name on it, I think you would probably give it more of the benefit of the doubt. They've actually accomplished quite a bit for the $332 that the option costs. The voice control isn't perfect, but it gives a very convenient access to my phone and also to my thousands of songs on my iPod, without having to take my hands off the steering wheel. Yes, few phones support SMS/text over bluetooth, or ringtones over bluetooth, but the vast majority of bluetooth-capable phones out there will work for at least the basics like making and receiving calls, and access to the phonebook. I don't know anything about your phone, but are you 100% sure that you don't have to change a configuration setting in your phone to allow access to the phonebook over bluetooth?

 

You mention that it's overly complex, yet at the same time you say that you haven't even spent any time to try to familiarize yourself with the system. Well, what do you expect exactly?

 

Anyway, I have no affiliation to Ford, Microsoft, or Sync in any way, but I do think you're being too harsh on Sync. It's got some limitations, but what it does it does reasonably well and at a decent price-point. Bluetooth phone, iPod/Zune/USB drive audio control, and reasonably sophisticated voice control. I'm all over it and use it constantly.

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I dont think I'm being too harsh because my Evil Empire reference is a joke. I was merely saying that because so many haters would do as you said, and hate because Microsoft had their name on it. Microsoft does often over complicate things and patches later simplify things. enormus said more agressive things than me. Dont act like I was making a huge anti Microsoft rant because I wasnt. I was telling silasx to be patient because complaints are heard and often patched. Dont rabidly defend Microsoft from someone who wasnt ragging on them. I think your zeal is over the top. Tone it down.

 

edit: if I wanted to rag on Sync and Microsoft I could. I didnt mention the c++ error I get trying to download the Sync updates. How does c++ have anything to do with downloading a file? I didnt mention having only partial compatibility with my phone. All I can do is redial the last number and use voice to dial a number (very slow and you have to remember 10 digit numbers). All other functions currently dont work because they arent recognized or some other error. Give me a break and lighten up.

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Give me a break and lighten up.

 

Sorry, I totally misinterpreted the tone of your post. Please accept my apologies...

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I have a hard time wrapping myself around this subject. I've had my Focus since May of 08 and Sync has worked perfectly. There are occasional glitches but 99% of the time it does just what I tell it to do.

 

As for the LG phone and the phonebook, I never could get my Fusic to download the complete phonebook. But I was able to send via bluetooth several of my most used contacts. Have you tried adding contacts manually? There was also a known issue where the phonebook would not download if you had a custom ring tone or pictures associated with a phonebook entry.

 

And since I've now switched to an LG Voyager, Sync seems to work even better.

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I dont think I'm being too harsh because my Evil Empire reference is a joke. I was merely saying that because so many haters would do as you said, and hate because Microsoft had their name on it. Microsoft does often over complicate things and patches later simplify things. enormus said more agressive things than me. Dont act like I was making a huge anti Microsoft rant because I wasnt. I was telling silasx to be patient because complaints are heard and often patched. Dont rabidly defend Microsoft from someone who wasnt ragging on them. I think your zeal is over the top. Tone it down.

 

edit: if I wanted to rag on Sync and Microsoft I could. I didnt mention the c++ error I get trying to download the Sync updates. How does c++ have anything to do with downloading a file? I didnt mention having only partial compatibility with my phone. All I can do is redial the last number and use voice to dial a number (very slow and you have to remember 10 digit numbers). All other functions currently dont work because they arent recognized or some other error. Give me a break and lighten up.

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