Users who got the update installed, say it does speed up the system and make it more responsive, though

Ford Motor Comp. (F) drove some sales with its SYNC infotainment system, but criticism has also abounded, particularly about the first-generation SYNC's graphical revamp MyFord Touch (MFT).  Ford has received many a beating at the hands of consumer reviews agencies over MFT's clunky interface, even as it's strived to fix the system's early bugs.

Its latest effort to that end was unveilled this week.  Ford posted about a new update (SYNC 3.6.2; 553 MB) which will:
  • Improved system performance
  • Improved Home Screen
    • Increased Touch Zones on Home Screen
  • Improved screen interactions while using voice
  • Updated support for phones and media players
  • Home page displays song/artist info
  • Improvements to System Installation
    • Quicker install - < 30 minutes
    • Persistence of Navigation Favorites during installation
The overhaul reportedly replaces some of the longer, more difficult voice commands with shorter alternatives, though it's unclear what commands were swapped out.  The update is exclusively for MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles, so those with just SYNC won't get these changes yet (or at all, in some cases, as some changes pertain to the MFT UI)

SYNC updated
An updated Ford F-150 [Image Source: VA Raptor/F150 Forums]

The good news is that early adopters are installing the update without trouble and reporting faster/smoother/"less buggy" performance.  The bad news is that users (in the F150 Forums page) have complained about:
  • Lost wallpapers
  • Lost Bluetooth pairings
  • Lost Wi-Fi settings
  • Long stall at 5% download (multiple reports)
  • Another long stall 38% download (multiple reports)
Sounds like Ford has its work cut out fixing the blips in the process as this one continues to roll out.

SYNC update
SYNC updates are downloaded to a user's computer and then delivered by SD Card or USB stick to the vehicle.

Ford and General Motors Comp. (GM) are currently being wooed by both Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) -- which reportedly pitching a version of Windows 8 for car infotainment -- and Apple, Inc. (AAPL)  -- which is pushing for more iOS integration.  With next generation systems likely to launch in either 2014 or 2015 from each company, it should be interesting to see whether they go Microsoft, Apple, or opt to ignore both and make a proprietary solution.

Sources: Ford, F-150 Forums [problems, experiences]

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