Synchronization Workshop: Problems with iPhone, Ford Sync and Phone Contacts

Sometimes Ford Sync users experience difficulty getting their iPhone to properly “call” their contacts, and often the solution is as simple as clearing your phone’s contact list.

IPhone users, and yes, even Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Microsoft and Blackberry smartphone owners may not know that they have entered their phone contacts incorrectly. If the Ford Sync or MyFord Touch system cannot correctly identify your contact, then it will not be able to complete the phone call effectively.

Take a moment to review your phone’s contact list. On the iPhone, press the “Contacts” icon. Your display should show the contact’s name in a “normal” font (lighter font). The last name will be in “bold”. If you haven’t figured it out yet, go back to the app screen and tap on the “Settings” icon. Then press the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” icon. Scroll down to the “Contacts” heading. Below you will see “Sort”. Select “Last First”. Then select “Show order” and select “First, Last”. Using these settings will give you a list of phone contacts with all your friends listed in alphabetical order by First Name within the first letter of the last name.

Where we’ve seen people with sync issues is when they put the contact’s first and last name on the name line. For example, using the photo above, the Michael Alexander would be entered in the “Name” line of a new contact file and saved. The problem comes from the Ford Sync system wanting to be able to distinguish between first and last name. Put the first name on the first name line and the last name on the last name line, then the Sync system will “find” your contact when you call, for example, “Call Michael Alexander”.

DO NOT put smiley faces, punctuation marks, and other strange markings on the name.

For example, “Michael Alexander

The Sync system will not be able to interpret the name and emoticon. So don’t use emoticons.

Also, if the phone number is “Home”, “Work”, “Mobile” or “Other”, put it on the corresponding line to store phone numbers. Don’t clutter up the Name line with “Michael on cell phone.” Again, this confuses the Sync system, so it cannot index and recognize the name properly.

Here’s a quick video on using the iPhone with Ford Sync or MyFord Touch System.

And, if you have used SIM cards to store phone numbers and contact information in the past, then don’t transfer those files to your smartphone in the “saved to SIM” format yet. A SIM card is a small portable storage chip that allows the transfer of a phone book, but is stored on a secure level that Sync cannot access. You can view your phone’s contact list and see all the names. However, if they are all “saved to SIM”, your sync system will not be able to “see” them. Edit your contact list with the names you call most often and select “save to phone” and not “save to SIM”.

Finally, enter your names in uppercase and lowercase. Do not keep names in capital letters. Sync doesn’t recognize all capital letters (usually) unless you spell it out letter by letter.

As a note, every time you edit or update your phone book, the next time you start your vehicle, the Sync system will review your contacts and “see” the changes you have made.

Also, remember that the Sync voice is “seeing” a potential name or word from the syllables and phonetics. Ethnic words may not be understood. Even a name like Nita (pronounced Nee-ta) would be pronounced as “Ny-ta” by the Sync system. So instead of misspelling a name just for the Sync system, why not give your friend another nickname, like “My Best Friend” or “Crazy Lady”?

Apple uses a lot of proprietary programming, so even if you have photos of your friends in your iPhone contacts, they may not always transfer through the Sync System.

So give your phone book one “one more time.” If you are having trouble calling a contact by name, it may be due to these factors.

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