By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist
Using emoticons on your smartphone is the quickest way to cause severe problems with the voice-to-text functions of the Ford Sync System. Here is my third article on this topic…
Since late 2012 there were numerous problems with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC Evo and other smartphones having connectivity issues with the Ford Sync system. User forums for the smartphones and for the Sync system have been filled with people which connectivity problems that affected the base model, the MyFord and the MyFord Touch Sync systems. The issue was something was seriously affecting the Sync users accessibility of their phone book contacts with Voice commands. If you pushed the “Voice” icon on your steering wheel and said “Phone” and then “Call + (your contact name)” then your Sync system might reply, “Calling Dot on Cell.”
Some of the issues were a result of smartphone users downloading and using any of the Emoji Apps. The word emoji is Japanese for ideograms, you know, those little emoticons such as smiley faces, frowny faces, etc.
The new Apple iOS even allows iPhone 5 users to go to their Settings folder, to the General settings, to the Keyboard tab, and then you go to the next menu and select “Keyboards.” You can then tap “Add New Keyboard” and add an emoji keyboard. However, this is the kiss of death for your Sync system.
The issue is that the cute emoticons seen on your smartphone screen as a smiley face are, in fact, long strings of programming language which cause Sync’s text-to-voice conversion to go haywire. When given a Voice command to call a contact the system will say “Calling Dot on Cell” and then dial the first contact listed in your phone book.
If this has happened, then review EVERY phone contact and remove any emoticon. Also remove any extraneous exclamation points, periods, commas, dashes and so on that you might have in your phone contact list. Be sure to even check the name of your device! Some overzealous users renamed their phones with smiley faces on the device name. Check to see that everything is cleared again. Then go to your Bluetooth settings and remove Sync from your phone.
If you have an iPhone, do a soft reset. This is done by holding your “Home” button, the large button at the lower center of your front screen, while also holding down the Power button at the top right. Hold these buttons down until the Apple icon appears. Then release the buttons. Let the phone go idle for a few minutes. You can further push the power button, then slide the on-screen button to power down the phone. Leave the phone off for a few minutes. Then push the power button and let the phone power back up.
Then go to your vehicle. Go to your phone settings and delete your phone from the list of Bluetooth devices. Then turn your vehicle off. Open the hood and find the car battery. Loosen and remove the black (negative) battery cable) for about five minutes. Then replace the cable and tighten the clamp. Close the hood and restart the vehicle. Let a few minutes pass before resetting the radio from AM and resetting the clock. Then go to your phone settings and pair your phone back. See this video for instructions on pairing a phone.
Yes, this is a lot to do. This is why you need to really clean Emoji Apps and emoji keyboards from your phone files. Emoticons are cute but they defeat the whole purpose of having a Bluetooth-enabled hands-free communications system. Maybe it’s time to say bye, bye to ! So sorry !