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Bells & Whistles - Ford's in-car SYNC 3 infotainment system

Bells & Whistles – Ford’s in-car SYNC 3 infotainment system

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Bells & Whistles – Ford’s in-car SYNC 3 infotainment system

If you combine the words information and entertainment you get ‘infotainment’ – and this is exactly what you’ll get in the 2020 Ford Explorer. The Ford Motor Company has come up with the perfect combination of a car stereo with an information and navigation system – SYNC 3.

Anticipating your needs

Smartphones and tablets are becoming more intuitive and easier to use with each new generation. Up until now, infotainment systems have often seemed like an after-thought, and operating them seemed counter-intuitive.

Not only do these systems need to be secure, functional and seamless to use, but they also need to keep you, and your family, safe while driving. “The SYNC 3 has been based on customer feedback – by the same people who are driving and interacting with their Ford vehicles every day,” says Chuck Gray, director of electrical and electronic systems engineering at Ford.

This is the first version to be fully designed in-house at Ford, and was recently unveiled at the company’s high-tech Connectivity and Innovation Centre (CIC) in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata.

More than good looks

The SYNC 3 might seem familiar to use, because it’s based on Blackberry’s QNX operating system. It’s no longer a scavenger hunt to find functions, and you’ll immediately feel connected.

It has a thoughtful, common sense layout. You can identify things clearly and navigate efficiently. You can also adjust the screen’s brightness and font size to help avoid squinting, so that you never have to take your eyes off the road for too long.

Minimized multi-tasking

The number of steps that are required to complete a task have been minimized on the SYNC 3. Many functions can also be accessed via voice control. Some controls have been moved from the console cluster to SYNC 3. Everything is easier to find, and if you’re not sure how something works, there’s an animated visual indication or a video to explain it to you – no manual required.

All your radio audio presets (AM/FM/XM) appear on the main screen, regardless of the media stream. You can switch from an AM news channel, to a rock station on the FM dial, and then to the Beatles channel on SiriusXM.

SiriusXM radio enthusiasts will appreciate the smart favourites and tune start features. The former buffers the last 30 minutes from your XM favourites as soon as you turn on the engine, and the latter ensures that the song begins on the first note when you switch to your favourites.

A first on the 2020 Ford Explorer’s platinum trim package, is the 10.1-inch, high-definition, portrait display. Other models have an eight-inch-wide screen. It’s positioned vertically on the dashboard, at a height and an angle, that makes it easy to see.

Always improving

With the customer’s consent, the SYNC 3 can capture analytics in terms of how its being used. Real-live testing and improvements are ongoing. At Ford’s Accelerated Life Test Lab, the software stability team simulates the software running in a vehicle in order to detect any pain-points.

When hitting the road, it’s comforting to know that the practical application of ‘infotainment’ is as reliable as the technology that we’ve come to expect in our homes.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.

GadgetGuy.ca


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Find your perfect match with HomeStars’ newest offering

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Find your perfect match with HomeStars’ newest offering

Finding a verified home service professional has never been faster or easier, with the latest offering from HomeStars. The company is continuing to redefine the way homeowners connect with home service professionals and this latest advancement uses matching technology to further simplify the process.

The matching process is simple and found on the HomeStars homepage using the Get a Quote search function. To use the service, some basic information is required, such as postal code, category of job and job urgency which is used to match up to three top-ranked service providers in the area. With an average response time of 30 minutes or less, homeowners can quickly compare quotes and hire immediately, or use the website to further investigate and explore these companies as well as other larger home projects. HomeStars is a free service for homeowners.

HomeStars receives more than 8,000 reviews each month from homeowners and the online marketplace has more than 300,000 home service providers across the country. Established in Toronto in 2006, the company was acquired by Denver-based HomeAdvisor in 2017.

HomeAdvisor is part of IAC, which owns more than 100 brands in 150 countries, including match.com, Plenty of Fish and Tinder, to name a few.

A proprietary algorithm developed in collaboration with HomeAdvisor is what allows HomeStars to instantly match homeowners with service pros. The innovation has made it easier than ever before to connect with trusted professionals for anything from fence repair to basement waterproofing and everything in between.

“We have been helping homeowners find top-rated and reputable pros for over a decade, and now our matching technology delivers much faster results,” says Nancy Peterson, founder and CEO of HomeStars. “HomeStars has more than 1.1 million registered users and, so far, we’ve already had over 500,000 requests using the matching technology, which offers on-demand service in an underserved category.”

HomeStars is the only Canadian company in the home services space to offer this sophisticated matching technology. While all different jobs can be quoted, the most popular categories are carpenters, roofing, handyman services, appliance repair and house and apartment cleaning.

In September 2017, HomeAdvisor merged with Angie’s List to form ANGI Homeservices Inc. ANGI Homeservices is the world’s leader in digital home services marketplaces, with Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor and Handy in the U.S., HomeStars in Canada, Instapro in Italy, MyBuilder in the U.K., MyHammer in Germany, Travaux in France, Werkspot in The Netherlands, and CraftJack and mHelpDesk for the trades.

For more information, visit @HomeStars on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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