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  1. Guzman's Avatar
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    Default Review: Microsoft Sync, with a Splash of Blackberry Flavoring

    I recently purchased a 2009 Ford F150 Lariat 4x4 truck and was blown away by all the features it has. Now lets not get into the age-old “Ford Vs. Chevy Vs. Dodge” debate as that could go on for days and it never accomplishes anything. However, there is one feature in my Ford that I think almost any vehicle owner would want... and that is Sync by Microsoft.


    I have to say that I was skeptical at first of all its claim, however it has been so easy to use along with my 8330m and all my pessimistic notions are gone! So enough of the entry, lets get into the details.


    When you first pair up Sync with your Blackberry it walks you through a very simple procedure, offering you a security pairing code on the screen, and guiding you through each step in sequence. Once paired you are able to transfer your phone book contacts which the Blackberry automatically defaults its settings to allow this. Once transferred, Sync allows the operator to handsfree (well almost considering you do have to push the button with your finger) activate their phone, media choices, and give commands for each. When pressing the Sync button, I am greeted by a female digital voice... we'll call her Olga. Olga says “Sync, Please say a command” and I feel obliged to respond “Phone.” To this, Olga responds asking me to say the name of the person I wish to call. I must say that I have never used a voice activated dialing system that required no setup, and had such great results! Even the native voice dial on the phone has at times left me bewildered as to who I called, knowing that person was not the intended recipient.


    Sync also allows you to browse your recent calls, phone book, and redial however it prefers you do this while stationary as a safety precaution. Sync performs a Vehicle Health Report that is emailed to you and accessible via SyncMyRide.com as well as in the event of an accident automatically dials 911 through your cell phone with the "911 Assist" feature. At times when it can not understand, it offers suggestions and asks you to press or say 1, 2, or 3 (each, respectively, a different contact).




    The only negative that I have noticed in my first week of use, is that the volume on the Blackberry defaults to around 50% and I so far have been unable to change this. I have turned off and on the echo control, set the volume from previous to 100%, and restarted the phone a few times unsuccessfully. However, a small turn of the volume dial in the truck and everything is fine. Those on the other end of my invisible string-tied-between-soup-cans also say that I sound very clear and crisp most of the time.


    Another built in feature of Sync is Bluetooth Media Streaming! Now I must admit at first I was unable to get this to work, however a few days later while playing with Pandora, I reset the Bluetooth Streaming setting in Pandora and it began to work. While my truck is equipped with Sirius Satellite Radio free for 6 months, Sirius is not tailored to my specific music taste. Enter Pandora with its intuitive music engine and its eager desire to serve up my favorite tunes. I also have AM/FM radio and a 6 CD changer, though I haven't used them yet thanks to Bluetooth Media Streaming (and the USB port though this doesn't pertain to the Blackberry directly).



    With all these great features Sync and the Blackberry offer me as the driver, its hard to say why I'd ever leave my truck! (Did I mention I have seat heaters and seat air conditioning?) So if you're in the market for a new vehicle, and you constantly find yourself wearing those ridiculous Bluetooth headsets or trying to keep a vehicle speaker phone charged, you may want to check out Ford and their vehicles equipped with Sync. Tell them Crackberry.com sent you!
  2. KBV1's Avatar
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    Awesome review man and sweet truck!
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  3. Guzman's Avatar
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    Thanks! The truck is great! Best vehicle i've had so far
  4. TBolt's Avatar
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    the tail on the donkey
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    As a Curve 8330 owner and Pandora subscriber, I would love to know how the music quality sounds when you're streaming from the Berry to Sync.

    How well does the volume control work when listening to tunes?


    When a call comes in, is Pandora automatically paused?


    Congrats on the truck. Thanks to your review, which reminded me of Sync, I will really consider Sync when I make my next purchase.


    Thanks.
    Palm Treo 650 > Treo 700p > BB Curve 8330 > Droid Incredible
  5. a41.8tqm's Avatar
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    Default Loved MS Sync with my Storm

    i went to San Diego last spring for vacation and rented an 09 mustang conv. with MS sync in it. i didnt know it had it when i picked it out but was glad it did. the next morning when we went out for our first time with it my gf had to stop and get coffee, by the time she came back to the car i had set up sync with my bb storm and was streaming my music through BT and had imported my contacts. It was easier than i thought! Glad you have had a good time with it too. Now i want it in my next car, just hope by then someone else picks it up cause personally im not a ford fan but that feature has me thinking.

    PS i thought you mentioned that you dont use the usb port? i used it for keeping my storm charged since BT uses up battery quickly when streaming.
  6. Guzman's Avatar
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    I use the USB port for a thumb drive with music on it from my wife's iTunes collection

    The quality with pandora is just fine. I stream it throught he truck via BT and haven't noticed any sound degredation or anything that would deter me from rollin the windows down and just livin' life
  7. gamingmonkey's Avatar
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    i just got the exact same truck! NFT! (nice f'ing truck)
  8. TBolt's Avatar
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    thanks for the follow-up, guys!
    Palm Treo 650 > Treo 700p > BB Curve 8330 > Droid Incredible
  9. cmarks03#CB's Avatar
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    Default 100% Agree

    I bought a 2010 Fusion about 1 1/2 months ago that came with Sync. My Storm paired with no problem. I didn't let it copy my address book, but I know enough phone numbers to get by, and you can say "Dial" and the number and it will dial it. I've never had any issues with the phone or bluetooth capabilities (except me not turning on bluetooth on my phone ). The bluetooth media streaming (for me from Slacker) was excellent.

    Though not BB related, here's my other thoughts on Sync. The voice recognition was a bit iffy for my Zune connected via USB, but I have some esoteric artists so I'm not blaming the software. I don't know about the iPod or other music players, but it would probably be the same.

    Excellent review dude, and I'm jealous of your truck. I wish my Fusion had seat coolers - it just has warmers.
    - Chris

    IANAL, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express and I don't have Progressive insurance. This is my $.02; remember you paid less than that for it.

    "I'm an Engineer. I'm not fat, I'm grossly over-designed." (someone on another forum)
  10. krbuck's Avatar
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    I just got an 09 Ford Flex this year and was pretty impressed with how the system works with both my wife's iPhone and my beat up old Curve.

    The voice command system really is the most useful part of Sync for me. Its firmware is upgradable to keep up with the times as well.
  11. RFocus's Avatar
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    Thumbs up sync

    I got an 08 focus this time last year and I cant stand driving another car Sync has me hooked; I stream Pandora too. if I'm not using the iPod via USB or my 16G flash drive, the SAT. radio is alright . when I first got my car I was wearing A BT headset but sync noticed the signal and a few clicks later it was set and ready to go.

    BTW nice truck your int. looks like mine but the /wood grain add a nice touch
    great post

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