Using emoticons on your smartphone can cause serious problems with the speech-to-text functions of the Ford Sync system. This self-help article reveals ways to correct these problems.
Since late 2012, there were numerous issues with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S, as well as the Samsung Galaxy, HTC Evo, and other smartphones that had connectivity issues with the Ford Sync system. The user forums for these smartphones and for the Sync system have been filled with people with connectivity issues that affected the base model, the MyFord and MyFord Touch Sync systems. The problem was that something was seriously affecting Sync users’ accessibility to their phone book contacts with voice commands. If you pressed the “Voice” icon on the steering wheel and said “Phone” and then “Call + (your contact name)”, then your sync system might respond, “Calling Dot on Cell.”
Some of the issues were due to smartphone users downloading and using any of the Emoji apps. The word emoji is Japanese for ideograms, you know, those little emoticons like smiley faces, “frowning” faces, and so on.
The new Apple iOS even allows iPhone 5 users to go to their Settings folder, General settings, the Keyboard tab, and then the next menu to 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 problem is, the cute emoticons that you see on your smartphone screen as a smiley face are in fact long strings of programming language that make Sync’s text-to-speech go crazy. When you are given a voice command to call a contact, the system will say “Calling Dot on Cell” and then dial the first contact that appears in your phone book.
If this has happened, check EVERY phone contact and remove any emoticons. Also remove exclamation marks, periods, commas, hyphens, etc. strangers you may have in your phone’s contact list. Be sure to even check the name of your device! Some overzealous users renamed their phones with smiley faces in the device name. Verify that everything is erased again. Then go to Bluetooth settings and unpair your phone.
If you have an iPhone, do a soft reset. To do this, press and hold the “Home” button, the large button at the bottom center of the front screen, while holding down the Power button on the top edge of the phone on the right side. Hold down these buttons until the Apple icon appears. Then release the buttons. Let the phone be idle for a few minutes. You can further press the power button and then slide the on-screen button to turn off the phone. Leave the phone off for a few minutes. Then press the power button and let the phone turn on again.
Then go to your vehicle. Go to your phone settings and remove your phone from the Bluetooth device list. Then turn off your vehicle. 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. Allow a few minutes before resetting the radio from AM and resetting the clock. Then go to your phone settings and pair it again. Watch this video for instructions on how to pair a phone.
Yes, this is a lot to do. This is the reason why you need to really clean up Emoji apps and emoji keyboards from your phone files. Emoticons are cute but they defeat the purpose of having a Bluetooth-enabled hands-free communication system. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye, goodbye to smiling faces! Very sorry!