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Ford Sync 4 introduces OTA updates

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Ford Sync 4 introduces OTA updates

Ford has been showing off their new Ford Sync 4 infotainment system. After five years of the Sync 3, an update is surely due but what does it have in store for us?

The big news is the introduction of OTA, Over-The-Air updates. Essentially wireless updating for the system that doesn’t require you to visit a Ford dealership to have your car software updated. Ford Sync 4 will also include wireless support for both CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging for phones and increased compatibility for larger screens.

OTA updates

OTA updates have been promised for a while and now they are finally here. This enables your car to be able to receive updates from the cloud automatically from Ford without you having to do a thing. It’s an exciting prospect as long as Ford gets the security right.

Currently, your system software is updated when you visit a dealership for a service. We download the latest software for all the systems on your car and update them all as part of that service. When OTA updates are introduced, we won’t need to do that.

Instead, you will have a system like your smartphone. Ford will broadcast the update over the cloud to Sync 4 automatically. You don’t have to do anything and your system should be always up to date with the latest features and patches. It will all happen in the background, with little or no user interaction necessary.

This allows Ford to update their systems more frequently and add new features, fixes and updates whenever they become available. It’s a neat system that works very well for phones and should work here too.

There are obvious security concerns about OTA updates and Ford and other automakers are doing a lot of work to secure the system.

Ford Sync 4

Ford Sync 4 will also introduce support for larger screen sizes. With automakers designing more functions to be controlled by the touchscreen than by traditional switches, the screen is becoming increasingly important. And larger. It is this final aspect that Ford needs to keep up with. With 12 inch screen being available, Sync 3 sometimes struggles to run such a large screen. Sync 4 should not.

Dash Cards are also being introduced. These are like app cards on a phone. They can be quickly accessed to perform basic functions from the home screen without having to open the app itself. For example, playing a music track or pausing it could be done from the Dash Card rather than having to open the music player. A small but distinct advantage over Sync 3.

If you use FordPass Connect, it will work seamlessly with Sync 4 and allow cloud connections for voice commands, messaging and for basic web requests.

Ford have said Sync 4 will be rolled out initially in specific 2020 models. They haven’t said which ones yet though. I’ll update you when I find out.

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