MyFord Touch, running on Ford’s SYNC platform, was the first real attempt to bring smartphone-like functionality into cars. Most mobile devices could be synced with the MyFord Touch system, then controlled via touch-screen and simple voice commands. Like many fledgling technologies, many thought this wasn’t implemented as well as it could have been. Ford has taken steps to improve MyFord Touch based mostly on user recommendations, and beginning early next year, an update to the system will be available for free to all MyFord Touch users. The new software will also come with Ford’s 2013 models of the Escape, Flex, and Taurus.
Many of the changes are cosmetic, but that’s more important than it sounds. Fonts and icons overall are bigger, and the touch-screen controls are more streamlined, which is hugely important when you’re on the road and can’t afford to be distracted. Touch-screen response time has also been dramatically improved. Voice recognition is a little better thanks to improvements made to the Nuance system. There will also be updated navigation information courtest of NAVTEQ, with 3D landmark views on some maps. This is all in addition to what the MyFord Touch was already capable of, including hands-free calling and the ability to read received text messages aloud.
Overall, the upcoming update to MyFord Touch appears very clean and user-friendly – a big improvement from the previous version. On the heels of Cadillac’s unveiling of their Cadillac User Experience – a similar built-in multimedia touch-screen based system – the MyFord Touch update seems to be a necessary competitive move, cementing Ford as a contender for the car of the future market. MyFord Touch users will receive a USB drive containing the update sometime early next year.