...or other device:
If you'll be buying one of the 12 vehicles in the Ford, Lincoln or Mercury brands with the option to get your music, phone and text messaging all in Sync via bluetooth, we've now found out you'll be able to get the Microsoft-Ford accessory for less than the cost of an iPhone and just a bit more expensive than a Zune. Ford just released information on pricing and the vehicles the system will be initially available in, and we've got the whole scoop below the jump. If you remember, we had the chance to do an exclusive hands-on with the Sync system back in January before the Detroit Auto Show, and we've got to say again there's no in-vehicle integration system that works better out on the market. At least one of us would gladly pay $395 for the system -- there's only that one catch -- we're not planning on buying a Ford anytime soon. Rats -- foiled again!
Like the folks at Jalopnik, I don't have plans on buying a Ford anytime soon...but their Sync system might be enough to at least put them on my research list the next time I'm in the market for a new car. Hopefully this is something that more automakers will start offering.
My plain vanilla cassette adapter works fine for audio, and at $20, the price is hard to beat. But there's definitely some attraction in being able to sync, charge, and control my Zune by voice. And if it works with my phone, too, that's even better.
Here's more from the Ford press release:
Sync is a Ford-exclusive technology based on Microsoft Auto software which provides consumers the convenience and flexibility to bring digital media players - Apple iPods, Microsoft Zunes, and other MP3 players - and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicle and operate the devices via voice commands or with the vehicle's steering wheel or radio controls. Simply stated: with Sync, consumers are able to use their voice to command their digital media players and Bluetooth mobile phones.
Sync is an on-board computer platform loaded with software that seamlessly integrates the vehicle with today's popular portable electronic devices. Since it is a software-based system, it is updatable and should be able to support the devices and services of tomorrow.
I think it's great that Sync will support a wide variety of devices. Although I'm a big fan of my Zune, despite a few flaws, I know lots of other folks use iPods, Zens, etc. The more devices the better...if the Sync system is successful for Ford, that probably increases the likelihood that other automakers will follow suit.