There is a lot of talk about the mobile connection to cars in one form or another. But what do we have? We took a Ford Focus on the test drive to see how their Sync2-system works.
If there is anything we can clearly see that one of the major new areas in addition to smart watches and Virtual reality in mobile world right now, it’s how your car and your phone will communicate in the future. Apple works hard to introduce Bluetooth and voice Assistant Siri as an integral part of your future car and Google would definitely not be worse with their Android Auto-focus. Now Apple has begun to recruit experts from the automotive industry to a secret lab. During the CES show earlier this year (which Sync 3, the sequel to the system we test also appeared, although it will not show up in cars until at least the end of the year), it was even clearer that connection in cars is strong on the rise from both chipset automakers and accessories maker.
It feels well maybe a little misleading to call an entire car for a cell phone accessories, but out of our area of interest, and made sure that there actually is something you associate with your phone, it’s still there. In any case, we took in a Ford Focus to see how their current system Sync2 works in practice. Because we focus on just that area, we will not take up that much if the car itself and its various features, but it was dark gray, and had four wheels and steering wheel (and steering wheel heating, type the best thing invented since the wheel itself!).
Sync2 system consists not only of an access road for the cell phone, but it also encompasses the entire car stereo, climate control and navigation system and all are by and large correct seamlessly no matter what part of the system used. To keep the handset is also something that is in the tank, then it just from the driver’s seat has two USB plugs and two tolvvoltsuttag within arm’s reach.
Most of your interaction with the Sync2 consists of an eight-inch touch screen on the dashboard with the interface is divided into four different zones of navigation, music, phone and climate control system. All can be accessed from its respective corners of the screen no matter where you are, and it makes everything easy-to-use. The touch screen is not the rappaste in history, but for the most part it works without much friction.
During the phone part, add your handset, whether it’s a smartphone, and pair it via Bluetooth. For the convenience of the system picked your phone book down to the car’s storage space and since everything is really done. In the US market, there are a couple of apps such as Pandora and a bunch of radio stations, which supports Sync2 and which can be controlled directly via the touch screen. But here in Sweden, it is considerably thinner with that product.
Do you want to run the music from your phone, you tune it manually in the handset in order for it to be as you are, but it is no problem to stream audio from the internal memory as well as Spotify without the phone interpreters Sync2 program which Bluetooth-connected device. Once you’re running your game list, however, you can change tracks and pause from the car’s touchscreen where even the song information is shown. If you do not want to run the bitten over Bluetooth, or can’t be bothered to plug in the passenger’s handset via Bluetooth, you can run the music over the usual line input as well.
The second major area of Sync2 where cell phone comes in, of course, is the telephony part. Both calls and text messages are handled by the system and the car’s SOS mode also sends her any information via the mobile network which the connected phone offers. Incoming calls are handled most easily via the controls on the steering wheel and in addition to it we talk to hear the sound from the turn signals, the sound is generally really good both ways. Outgoing calls are handled via either voice control (more on that later) or by buttons up the receiver via the touch screen. Through it, you can also read the TEXT, which is not really recommended if you run of course.
Worth mentioning is that Sync2 is also endowed with wifi, but mainly to be able to connect to your home network and download updates to itself and nothing else. Unfortunately the hardware stops to cars with Sync2 should be able to be upgraded to Sync3 once it lands in Sweden.
All speak English
The notion that all parts are integrated with each other? In addition to that, you control four separate systems through the same touch screen, the car is also equipped with voice control for more or less all the features. Robot lady they closed in behind the instrument panel understands only English, which varies depending on what you want to do.
That voice control until a call is relatively simple and the system is surprisingly good at guessing what we said, even if we are looking for the address records with Swedish characters. To navigate among different search results, leave the “line 2” to select line 2 on the screen feels well a bit styltigt, but considerably more effective and safer than keeping on and poke at the screen manually. Robot Lady also has the ability to run speech synthesis on incoming SMS, but since they are usually on the Swedish and she only understands English, we get to see the function as useless to us, for we have no idea what it is, she says, when she tries to interpret the Swedish.
By the same voice control, we can also control what music source we want to listen to, the overall temperature of your car and navigation system. The first two parts will work pretty good after a short exercise, while route planning on a Swedish map with a robotdam who only understands English most cause headaches and takes significantly longer than to stop the car and enter it via the touch screen.
After the initial pairing with the car, plug the handset up automatically as soon as you get and similarly throttled connection when you leave the car, and the part we never encountered problems during our tests.
If you’re shopping for a new car tanks and thinking about whether or not the additional monies Sync2 is worth, we say that it is a relatively inexpensive addition on the whole and to just call handling and music control system makes it worth the money if you will spend a lot of time in the car and calling a lot during the runs. Voice control measures had very good to understand Swedish, but the share of voice assistants who understand our language, on the other hand, are vanishingly few throughout the industry. Because it is an initiative to connect apps against Sync2, it would have been nice to see more europaanpassade apps with the support too. The parts are in place when it comes to the connection to your phone will still work satisfactorily and it is really easy to voice control, when it works, talk to all parts of the system and not only with the phone.
At the same time, it is an interesting breeding ground which is not too far from the great visions that Apple and Google have with their systems. The step is not too far from having major appintegrering in the system, or you can get data about the car to your phone in style with what Automile do already today. Having maps offline and downloaded into the car’s navigator feels healthy versus poured maps from Google Maps or Apple Maps, but at the same time, a “live updating” of current road events through the phone’s Internet connection be welcome. The platform that runs on the Sync2 is from Microsoft, in the form of Windows Embedded Automotive as a collaboration with Here Maps at the front were not completely wrong (even if Sync 3 running BlackBerrys Qnix-system).
In comparison with the often grandiose, but the right fluffy, visions on smart watches and Virtual Reality still feels like to step into the vision of where we are today is not particularly long.