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Get the most out of iPhone and Ford Sync

Getting the most out of your Ford Sync system sometimes means learning more about your smartphone and here are some tips on how to use your iPhone with the Ford Sync system.

Having trouble accessing music on your iPhone?

If you have upgraded to a newer Apple iOS, then one of the options is to “back up” and store your music in the cloud. This uses a process called iTunes Match. Basically, you see the song titles and information on your iPhone, but the music is really “parked” in the cloud. The problem is that the Ford Sync system can no longer access this music as it has become part of Apple’s proprietary system. If you’re going to your iPhone’s Settings folder … scroll down to the iTunes & App Stores bar, then turn off the iTunes Match button.

This allows your Sync system to access music files. Re-enable the iTunes Match button to back up and store your music from time to time to keep your files up to date.

Has your iPhone music stream stopped playing?

If you pressed the Voice button on the steering wheel to access the music by saying “Bluetooth Audio” then you can stream music through your vehicle’s sound system. Stream music, but you don’t have enough bandwidth to give voice commands to “Play Artist Bruno Mars”.

If you connect your iPhone to the USB port, you will have to press the voice button and say “USB”. The sync system will index the music on your iPhone (or USB jump drive) and after a few minutes press the voice button again and when the sync system says “USB, please indicate your command” then say “Play all” . The Sync system will start playing your music. You can then press the voice button and say “Play artist Miranda Lambert” and it will search and play your music (if you have it in your collection).

So can I play music from Pandora?

If you have a Pandora account on your iPhone, you can press the voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio”. The system will reply “Bluetooth Audio” and then go to your iPhone and tap on the Pandora icon (or other music streaming app) and then when that app starts playing your music will be muted and the music streaming will play.

Again, if you connect your iPhone to USB, then you need to give your system a “USB” voice command for the system to change the content you are accessing.

Can I have voice-to-text text messages read to me?

If you have an iPhone 4s or an iPhone 5, go to your phone and press the Home button (the big button at the bottom center of your phone). Press and hold the Home button for a few seconds and you will hear a tome on your phone (and the sync system). Say “Read text messages.” Siri on your iPhone will search for messages and read them to you. If you want to send a message, press the Start button and say “Send text message.” Your Siri will ask you who you want to send and what you want to say. Just follow the instructions. In fact, you can press the Home button and ask Siri any question. When you’re done with Siri, just press and hold the phone icon on the steering wheel and “hang up” the call.

So how can I get voice activated GPS directions through the Sync system?

Let’s say you want to use the application on your iPhone 4s or iPhone 5, such as Google Maps, for step-by-step directions. Press the voice button on the steering wheel and say “Bluetooth Audio”. Then go to your iPhone and activate your GPS app. It will “speak” the instructions on the timing system. Press and hold the phone icon on the steering wheel to hang up the voice instructions.

Continuous support for your iPhone and syncing …

Completely turn off your iPhone at least once a week. Keep the iPhone powered off for at least a few minutes. Then turn it on again.

Go to the main screen of your phone. Then press the Home button twice. The screen will slide up. You will see a group of application icons. Press and hold your finger on one of the apps until a red circle with a white minus symbol appears. Then tap on the red circle and the apps will turn off. Most people will find that every time they open an app, it stays on “in the background.” This consumes more power and drains the battery more quickly. When you turn off the music app on your iPhone, the music will not automatically start playing every time you start your vehicle.

By the way, if you are playing music via Bluetooth or USB, you can press one of your vehicle’s audio buttons to switch to AM / FM, CD, Aux, or Sirius as the music source. Or you can use the Media (or Source) buttons (if you have them in your vehicle) to access any of the Media available for your vehicle.

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