Ford SYNC 4: Ultimate Guide to Features and Benefits

Ford Transit Custom Sync 4

Ford SYNC 4: Ultimate Guide to Features and Benefits

In the rapidly evolving world of in-car technology, Ford SYNC 4 emerges as a beacon of innovation, setting new standards in connectivity, navigation, and entertainment. As the latest iteration in Ford’s impressive lineup of infotainment systems, Ford SYNC 4 builds on the success of the current SYNC 3 version, offering enhanced features that promise to transform the driving experience. Unlike its predecessor, Ford SYNC 4 is designed to seamlessly integrate with Ford Apple CarPlay, alongside a plethora of mobile apps through the Ford SYNC app, marking a significant leap forward in intuitive technology and accessibility for drivers and passengers alike.

This article delves into the comprehensive suite of features and benefits that Ford SYNC 4 brings to the table. From an upgraded user interface that promises a more engaging and responsive experience to advanced vehicle assistance functions that ensure safety and convenience, every aspect of Ford SYNC 4 is explored. We will also cover essential updates, including how to reset Ford SYNC and ensure your system remains at the forefront with the Ford SYNC 3 update latest version. Additionally, for those looking to enhance their current system, information on the Ford SYNC 4 upgrade kit and how to navigate Ford SYNC updates in the UK will be provided. Whether you’re a long-time Ford enthusiast or a newcomer eager to experience the cutting-edge in vehicle infotainment technology, this guide offers invaluable insights into making the most of your Ford SYNC 4 system.

Overview of Ford SYNC 4

Ford SYNC 4 represents a significant leap in the evolution of in-car technology, building upon the foundations laid by its predecessor, SYNC 3. This latest version introduces a host of enhancements that cater to the increasing demands of modern drivers and connectivity.

Features and Improvements

Ford SYNC 4 boasts twice the computing power of SYNC 3, enabling a smoother and more responsive user interface. The system offers all-new cloud-based connectivity and supports wireless connections to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users to integrate their smartphones without the need for cables. The custom touchscreen options available range from 8 inches to an impressive 15.5 inches, providing clearer visuals and a more intuitive user experience.

The introduction of over-the-air updates is a game-changer, ensuring that the system evolves and improves without the need for physical modifications. These updates are designed to be seamless, often occurring without the driver’s notice, enhancing convenience and ensuring the system remains up-to-date with the latest features and security patches.

Comparisons with Previous Versions

Compared to SYNC 3, SYNC 4 has made significant advancements in both functionality and design. The older system required physical connections for smartphone integration and was limited to smaller, less versatile screens. In contrast, SYNC 4 introduces wireless smartphone integration and offers larger, more adaptable screen sizes that significantly enhance interaction and visibility.

Moreover, while SYNC 3 provided capable voice recognition, SYNC 4 enhances this feature with natural voice control, allowing for more intuitive and less structured commands. This makes interacting with the system more natural and less distracting, which is crucial for maintaining focus while driving.

Ford’s partnership with companies like Inrix and Garmin enhances the SYNC 4 navigation capabilities, providing real-time traffic updates, weather conditions, and parking information directly through the console, a feature that was previously available only at an additional cost in SYNC 3.

As Ford continues to roll out SYNC 4 across its vehicle lineup, it becomes clear that this system sets a new standard for what drivers can expect from their vehicle’s technology, promising not only to meet but exceed the demands of modern connectivity and convenience.

User Interface and Experience

Ford SYNC 4 revolutionises the user interface with its advanced capabilities and intuitive design, ensuring that drivers and passengers can enjoy a seamless and connected experience. The system’s sophisticated voice recognition and cloud-connected technology continually update its vocabulary, allowing for more natural speech patterns. This means users can interact with SYNC 4 in a conversational tone to perform tasks such as finding locations, playing music, or sending text messages without the need for rigid commands.

Ease of Use

The SYNC 4 system is designed with user convenience in mind. It features a touchscreen divided into two sections: the main area and the Information on Demand section. The main area displays details of the selected feature, while the Information on Demand section shows secondary app functions, allowing for multitasking without switching screens. Users can easily change which function is displayed by using arrows to scroll through options or by dragging the Information on Demand card to the main area. For a more detailed view, some cards can be double-tapped to expand to full-screen, enhancing the flexibility and accessibility of the interface.

Customisation Options

SYNC 4 also offers extensive customisation options to enhance the personal driving experience. The system includes an Apps Drawer, accessible by selecting the vehicle image on the touchscreen, which houses a collection of SYNC features like audio, phone, navigation, and the owner’s manual. Users can personalise the Apps Drawer icon and adjust settings in the Controls and Settings menus to select drive modes, manage parking and driver assist features, and configure preferences for sound, display, and network.

Furthermore, SYNC 4 allows the creation of personal profiles, which remember individual settings for temperature, radio, ambient lighting, and seat positions, tailored to different drivers. This personalisation extends to driver assist features, where users can adjust the sensitivity to ensure the technology is helpful and not intrusive.

Overall, Ford SYNC 4’s user interface and experience stand out by providing an easy-to-use, highly adaptable, and deeply customisable system, making every journey more enjoyable and connected.

Navigation and Connectivity

Ford SYNC 4 introduces a trio of navigation options: Connected Built-In, Connected Navigation, and smartphone navigation. Each is designed to enhance the driving experience through advanced technology and connectivity.

GPS Navigation

SYNC 4’s GPS Navigation is a standout feature, offering Connected Built-In Navigation with a three-year free trial from the vehicle’s warranty start date. This system provides comprehensive navigation even in “cellular dead zones” by using embedded technology. For those requiring constant updates, the Connected Navigation option begins with a 90-day free trial, offering live traffic updates, weather conditions, and other essential data. After the trial, a subscription via FordPass is necessary to maintain these services.

Smartphone Integration

Seamlessly integrating smartphones is a key feature of SYNC 4, allowing for a cable-free connection to both Apple and Android devices. Utilising Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, users can access their favourite apps directly through the SYNC touchscreen or use voice commands for hands-free control. This integration is not only about functionality but also about ensuring safety by minimising distractions while driving.

Voice Recognition

The sophisticated voice recognition system in SYNC 4 has been enhanced by cloud-connected technology that continually updates its vocabulary. This allows for a more natural interaction with the system, as users can speak in a conversational tone to execute commands. Whether it’s finding a new destination, selecting music, or sending messages, the system understands natural speech patterns, making the technology more accessible and user-friendly.

Ford SYNC 4’s navigation and connectivity features are designed to provide a seamless and intuitive interface, making every journey more connected and enjoyable. With real-time data and sophisticated integration options, drivers can stay informed and focused on the road.

Entertainment Features

Ford SYNC 4 elevates the in-car entertainment experience, offering a comprehensive suite of audio and video capabilities designed to enhance every journey. The system’s integration with cutting-edge technology ensures users enjoy a rich multimedia environment, whether they are streaming music, listening to podcasts, or utilising navigation tools.

Audio Options

SYNC 4 comes equipped with a variety of audio sources to cater to all preferences. Users can enjoy three months of complimentary SiriusXM radio, providing a wide range of channels that cover music, news, sports, and more. After the trial period, a subscription is required to continue enjoying this service. Additionally, the system supports AM/FM radio, Bluetooth audio, and connectivity to smartphones without the need for cables. This allows for seamless use of popular streaming services like Spotify directly through the SYNC interface or via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Bang and Olufsen sound system, available in select models, delivers exceptional sound quality, making it a delight for audiophiles.

Video Capabilities

The SYNC 4 system enhances visual engagement through its large, adaptable touchscreen displays. The interface, available in sizes up to 15.5 inches, offers sharp, clear visuals that make accessing and controlling the system’s features a breeze. Users can easily switch between various functions such as navigation and entertainment, thanks to the intuitive layout of the touchscreen. The larger screens not only improve usability but also contribute to a more immersive viewing experience when interacting with video content or vehicle settings.

Overall, Ford SYNC 4’s entertainment features are thoughtfully designed to provide both drivers and passengers with a versatile and enjoyable in-car media experience, ensuring that every trip is as entertaining as it is comfortable.

Vehicle Assistance Functions

Ford SYNC 4 incorporates advanced vehicle assistance functions designed to enhance both safety and convenience for drivers and passengers. These features are meticulously developed to provide support during driving and in case of emergencies.

Emergency Services

An integral part of the Ford SYNC system is the Emergency Assistance feature. This potentially life-saving technology becomes active in the event of an accident where the airbag is deployed or the fuel pump is deactivated. It utilises a Bluetooth®-paired and connected mobile phone to automatically place a direct call to Emergency Services. Users have the option to cancel the call or communicate further if necessary. Importantly, the system sends crucial information such as GPS coordinates to the emergency responders, potentially even if the user is unconscious.

It’s vital to note that not all accidents may activate this system. If an accident triggers the system, it will initiate a call to the emergency services. However, if able, it’s advised to call emergency services immediately to avoid any delay. If the system does not activate within five seconds of an accident, it may be non-functional.

Setting up Ford Emergency Assistance is straightforward:

  1. Navigate to “Settings” then “Phone” and select “Emergency Assistance”.
  2. Toggle Emergency Assistance to ON or OFF as needed.
  3. Adjust the Emergency Assist Reminder to ON or OFF based on preference.

This feature is provided free for the life of the vehicle, with no subscription fees required.

Driving Assistance

To utilise the Ford Assistant for enhanced driving assistance, ensure it is enabled on your vehicle. The system can be activated by:

  1. Pressing the Push-to-Talk button located on the steering wheel.
  2. Speaking naturally after the Speak now screen appears. Ford Assistant will then respond to the command.

It’s important to use voice-operated systems whenever possible to avoid distractions while driving. Some features may be locked out when the vehicle is in gear, and not all features are compatible with all phones.

For managing settings related to Ford Assistant:

  1. Touch Settings on your SYNC screen.
  2. Tap Connectivity within the Settings menu.
  3. Select Connected Vehicle Features.
  4. Toggle the Ford Assistant slider to enable or disable the feature.
  5. Additional information about Ford Assistant can be accessed by selecting the “i” icon next to the toggle.

These vehicle assistance functions are part of Ford’s commitment to integrating advanced technology to provide a safer, more connected driving experience.

Updates and Maintenance

Software Updates

Ford SYNC 4 technology continually evolves, offering automatic software updates to enhance vehicle performance, comfort, and capability. These updates are designed to add new features, improve existing functionalities, and address any recalls for select Ford trucks and SUVs. For optimal performance, it is crucial to keep the Automatic Updates feature toggled to ON, ensuring that updates download as soon as they become available. Most updates occur seamlessly in the background, similar to smartphone updates, without requiring any interaction from the driver.

For updates that need the vehicle to be parked with the ignition off, setting a schedule for overnight or during work hours can be beneficial. This scheduling ensures that updates are applied without disrupting your day. Once an update is complete, details can be reviewed in-vehicle, on the FordPass App, or on the web. Importantly, vehicle owners are notified if any updates incur additional costs.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Maintaining the SYNC system’s performance involves regular troubleshooting to resolve common issues such as slow operation or connectivity problems. For SYNC systems like MyFord Touch, operational issues can often be resolved by performing a master reset, which reboots the system to its factory settings. Additionally, editing the phonebook to ensure contacts have both first and last names can significantly improve voice recognition accuracy.

If experiencing Bluetooth connection issues, a clean phone pair and turning off Automatic Phonebook Download are recommended steps. These adjustments can help maintain the system’s responsiveness and functionality. For detailed guidance on updates or troubleshooting, vehicle owners can access the SYNC and Navigation Updates page, where they can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or log in with their Ford credentials to check for available updates and preferred installation methods, whether via Wi-Fi or USB drive.


Through this comprehensive exploration of Ford SYNC 4, we have uncovered the extensive capabilities and advancements that define Ford’s latest infotainment system as a pioneering force in automotive technology. From its superior computing power facilitating a more responsive user interface to its expansive suite of navigation, connectivity, and entertainment features, SYNC 4 stands as a testament to Ford’s commitment to innovation and enhanced driving experience. The system not only anticipates the needs of modern drivers by integrating cutting-edge technology and intuitive design but also sets a new benchmark for vehicle infotainment systems, ensuring that both drivers and passengers enjoy unprecedented levels of convenience, safety, and enjoyment.

As we conclude our journey through the myriad features and benefits of Ford SYNC 4, it becomes clear that this system is a significant leap forward in the realm of in-car technology. Whether through the seamless integration of smartphones, the provision of real-time updates to improve navigation, or the delivery of a rich entertainment experience, SYNC 4 effectively equips Ford’s vehicles with a level of sophistication and user-friendliness that is unmatched. By adopting this technology, Ford not only enhances the daily commute but also pioneers a future where vehicles are more connected, intelligent, and responsive to the ever-evolving demands of modern life.


What functionalities are available with Ford Sync 4?
Ford Sync 4 offers advanced features including cloud-based connectivity and conversational voice command recognition. This technology provides real-time information on weather, traffic, and construction updates. It also offers details on parking and plug-in stations for electric vehicles, all through cloud-connected navigation.

Which applications are compatible with SYNC 4?
SYNC 4 supports a variety of applications through SYNC AppLink, including:

  • Tidal Music
  • Ford + Alexa (currently not available in Canada)
  • iHeartRadio
  • Slacker Radio
  • Pandora
  • Waze for navigation and live travel updates

Is it possible to mirror your phone screen on Ford Sync 4?
Yes, Ford Sync 4 supports screen mirroring through compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This feature allows you to project your smartphone’s interface onto the vehicle’s display screen, available in models such as the Ford F-150, Escape, Explorer, and EcoSport.

Does Ford Sync 4 support wireless connectivity for Android Auto?
Yes, Ford Sync 4 includes support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, enabling you to connect your mobile phone wirelessly and access essential services seamlessly.

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