TLDR: Why doesn’t Microsoft’s Sync in-car computer work with Windows Phone?

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One time I rented a car to go away for a long weekend and I was happy to see that it had Microsoft’s Sync MyFord Touch in-car computer built in.  I thought, “Cool! This should work great with my Windows Phone since it’s made by Microsoft!”  Wrong!  It turns out, Microsoft’s in-car computer works best with the iPhone according to this compatibility chart (PDF).  You’ll notice that only Windows Phone 7 devices are on that list.  Another list shows some Windows Phone 8 devices, but the number of features supported is paltry.  I was using a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8.  It paired with the computer well enough and the address book downloaded.  I started streaming some music from an offline Nokia Music playlist and that worked pretty well for a while.  Then it simply stopped.  It just disconnected.  I went into my Bluetooth settings and reconnected to resume streaming my music and GPS navigational voice instructions.  However throughout my trip it constantly and randomly disconnected.  The native Xbox Music player worked a little better, but there were still other issues. Trying to make phone calls didn’t work very well.  The computer’s speech recognition couldn’t recognize the name in my address book that I wanted to call.  Receiving calls would kind of work, but after ending a call the phone would be disconnected from the car again.  Sometimes the “headset” profile would stay connected, but the Bluetooth stereo A2DP profile would disconnect.  Reading and responding to text messages wouldn’t work either.  It was so horribly buggy that I ended up plugging in my own separate Bluetooth car kit so that I could actually use the phone while driving.

You’ll see other people have similar problems on the Microsoft Answers forum (1) (2) (3).  This is the kind of thing Microsoft should pay attention to when it’s making products.  Sure there are plenty millions more users on Android and iOS that would want their in-car computers to work well with their smartphones, but that’s no reason to punish Windows Phone users who want to use other products made by your company.

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The Pocketnow TLDR is a series of sub-500-word editorials aimed at getting you in, out, and back to life. Comment is always invited below, as well as on FacebookTwitter, and Google Plus.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002.Read more about Adam Lein!