Ford's SYNC2 in-car entertainment platform is still new, shiny and excellent, but that's not stopping the car maker debuting an entirely new version of the SYNC platform at CES this year. We went behind the wheel with the new SYNC3 system to check it out, and it's better than ever.
SYNC3 builds on the features of SYNC2, by allowing drivers and passengers to access their phone, music, radio, navigation and AppLink content when on the go. The new version of SYNC comes in two flavours, both with and without GPS navigation support.
It's built into new Sony head units with big, beautiful high-res screens. There's more colour than ever before on SYNC3 thanks to a new light blue and white UI.
So what does SYNC3 get that SYNC2 doesn't?
Well, you finally get Eyes-Free Siri integration, to help you use Apple's voice assistant as you drive without taking your focus off the road. Compose text messages, use Maps, get notifications, find your appointments, all that good stuff.
If using Apple's Siri app isn't your thing, SYNC3 has better voice recognition with more natural language commands integrated.
Speaking of apps, Ford's AppLink is now featured more prominently, with a drawer for your apps sitting there in beautiful full colour.
You'll also never be out of date, as the car bootlegs your Wi-Fi and updates its own software every 48 hours. Amazing.
The whole system is friendlier to use, too. The big, beautiful touchscreen works a lot like a car-mounted tablet, which means that it's easier for the less technically-savvy to operate. Swipe left and right on your apps and trays to navigate, and just tap to get where you need to go.
The brighter UI is likely to be more inviting to those who aren't tech-savvy, too. For them, it'd make for a pleasant change from the darker colours we've seen on SYNC2. For what it's worth, I really like the darker colours, so hopefully there's another option you can navigate into.
All in all, it's slick, beautiful and exactly what we expect from Ford.
No word when it ships on new cars, but we're looking forward to playing with it more.