Ford dumps Microsoft for Blackberry as its software provider

Ford announced it is upgrading its infotainment system to make it more like a tablet and as part of the change it will use Blackberry instead of Microsoft as its software provider.

BlackBerry’s QNX operating system will be used for Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system. Sync 3 will allow drivers to make phone calls, control the car’s climate, navigate, listen to radio and music, through touch or voice commands.

One of the new improvements is the ability to expand or shrink the display with pinch-to-zoom gestures. Drivers will be able to simply wipe the screen in a similar fashion to a tablet.

It will also come equipped with an improved voice command system, in addition to allowing Apple iPhone users to access Siri hands free. The previous system was not a perfect match for Apple’s products.

The voice upgrades will speed up navigation information; with charges like “Detroit airplane terminal” being comprehended more effectively and rapidly.

When will it be available?

According to Ford spokesman Alan Hall, Sync 3 will be available next year on Model Year 2016 vehicles, however, there has been no word on what percent of cars will come with the new system.

Owners of vehicles that have the current Sync with MyFord Touch System won’t be able to upgrade to Sync 3 as it comes with completely new hardware.

About time Ford upgrades its infotainment system

Rumors have been circulating since the beginning of the year about Ford switching from Microsoft to BlackBerry.

A lot of customers have reported complaints about Sync with MyFord Touch – affecting customer satisfaction and quality ratings for Ford cars.

Many drivers report difficulty connecting to a device, trouble with the system understanding voice commands and the complicated nature of its navigation feature.

Parish Hanna, global director of human-machine interface at Ford, said in the company press release. “Reducing the number of things on-screen also makes control easier and is designed to limit the number of times a driver has to glance at the screen.”

“We considered all the modern smartphones and mobile operating systems and created something familiar but unique,” Hanna added.


An early peek at the next Ford Sync interface by CNET: