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Droid X + Ford SYNC = Awesome

Over the past few months, I’ve been using my Droid X in the car a lot more.  It started with just the voice-activated bluetooth calling, which is quite handy.

Then I got the windshield mount and started using Google Navigation for a few trips, leaving my Garmin in the other car for my wife.  Google Navigation is quite awesome and it has a few things that I just love:

  • I can have it show satellite imagery instead of just beige maps, which is great for big parking lots and a little nicer to look at on the screen.
  • It automatically syncs with my “starred places” in Google Maps, so I can just look up a location in Google Maps on my PC, “star” it, and it’ll automatically be waiting for me on the phone.
  • It incorporates real-time traffic info into the time estimates, which make them much more accurate than most other GPS models.
  • It’s free!  Free to use, and all of the road/POI updates are free and seamless.

Next, I started using Pandora quite a bit at home, so I loaded the app on the phone and I’ve been using it in the car (again, via bluetooth).  I have a variety of stations for myself, but also a few for when the girls are in the car with me (Disney, etc).  I pay the few dollars a month for the “plus” version, which means I have stations that:

  • Have no commercials.  Most Sirius/XM stations don’t have commercials, but they still have hosts that interrupt after every song to promote themselves and/or other stations on Sirius.
  • Are tuned to my tastes.  As I rate each song, it gets better and better.
  • Keep a variety. With my iPod, I tend to be bad about listening to the same songs all the time.  Pandora does a nice job of mixing it up with new songs, based on which songs I’ve told it I like.

Even with all of that happening at the same time on the phone, it handles it remarkably well.  Here’s a quick video showing how I have things set up in the car and how easy it is to use:

Do you have a similar set-up in your car? Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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  1. How do you get the voice commands on Google Navigation to work while you are connected to Sync? I attempted to do that today with my new car and was unable to get the phone to say the directions. I prefer to listed to Sirius/XM while I am driving.

    • I don’t — I just keep it muted.

      I think I can get it to say them out of the phone speaker, but I’m not sure. I’m usually playing Pandora at the time, so I keep the navigation silent.

  2. Did you ever have trouble pairing the DroidX and Pandora to Ford sync? Mine keeps disconnecting bluetooth audio and I can’t listen to Pandora from my DroidX to my sync/car.

    • Nope, no problems at all. Make sure you’re on the latest version of Sync, which can be a bit tricky to update. I think I’m on version 3.1. has details for you.

  3. Mickey,
    I do much the same thing with the Ford Sync/MyTouch in my 2011 Edge and my Droid Bionic. I’ve been using both Pandora and IHeartRadio as well as Stitcher and Google Listen for podcasts. The voice recognition is excellent and the windshield mount makes it easy to access.

  4. Very disappointed in sync droid x. Hookup the usb and out won’t play content because it says it it’s protected content. Can’t play content via bluetooth if the usb is hooked up.bluetooth is constantly dropping the connection…two times pet minute so it registers as a click or pop.can only play pandora through bluetooth which pops and clicks.when media does play through the usb, it auto plays when all I wanted to do was navigate. The stereo dings when you have new text messages which is distracting but when you try to answer the message, it won’t let you telling you it its distracting. the interface is clunky and confusing.sync may keep me from buying a ford.

    • Sorry to hear you’re having such trouble.  The auto-playing media drove me nuts, but I never had any of those other issues.  Is sync updated in the car?  You can load new versions of it every 6-12 months with bug fixes and features.

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