So long, Sync 3 — Ford’s new Sync 4 system is here to take the brand’s infotainment into the 2020s.
Ford revealed its next-generation infotainment system Wednesday, claiming it’s more powerful and intelligent than previous versions. At first glance, the system appears more polished than its predecessors, while retaining Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Ford’s Sync AppLink capability. What’s more, this time users can pair their phones to Android Auto or Apple CarPlay over Bluetooth, rather than through a USB connection.
Not only does Sync 4 aim to make connections within the car easier, but it also features cloud connectivity. The system brings in internet search results into its voice recognition software, with “machine learning capability” to learn your preferences and make suggestions. Cloud capability is available through the FordPass Connect service.
Support for larger touchscreens
Beyond its connectivity, Ford’s other major selling point for Sync 4 is its flexibility. Ford says the system will be adaptable to a wide range of screen sizes, from 8-inch screens all the way up to massive 15.5-inch units.
Particularly with those larger screens, it seems Ford will continue emphasizing portrait oriented, smartphone-like layouts like on the new Explorer. Specifically, the large 15.5-inch screens will use “Adaptive Dash Cards” to change which apps are available on the main screen, much like FCA’s 12-inch Uconnect system. Speaking of 12-inch screens, the smaller units will allow Ford owners to split their screen into smaller windows.
On top of the revamped Sync 4 infotainment system, Ford will fit most of its 2020 model year cars with over-the-air update capability. The company expects to deliver its first updates about six months after launching the feature next year.
As with other over-the-air update systems, like those on Tesla models, owners can schedule updates to take place while the car isn’t in use. When an update does install, the system will install it in the background, still allowing use of the infotainment system.