I Was Reluctant - I Shouldn't Have Been. 3.0.20204 to 3.4.21265

I’m posting this for anyone in my situation who may be reluctant to upgrade from 3.0.20204 or other pre-3.4 versions. Everyone else…move on!

I have a 2018 F-150 Lariat. Came with Sync 3.0. I went non-nav as I just use Android Auto with my Pixel phones (currently a Pixel 6).

My Sync 3 has been stuck on 3.0.20204 for well over a year now. I suspect that Ford has stopped development on Sync 3.0 and no further updates will be coming. I even reached out to customer support…on several occasions…with only vague answers stating that the Sync development team does not keep customer support…or customers, for that matter…updated on future plans for Sync 3.

3.0.20204 has a couple of really f&#$ing annoying problems.

The first one is Sync 3 switching a functioning “Use Phone Ringtone” to a non-functioning “Ringtone 1” which also blocked two callers from hearing each other during phone calls. This happens when you start your car while Bluetooth is connected to another device, in my case, earbuds when leaving the gym. You have to change the ringtone back to “Use Phone Ringtone”, which you can’t do during your non-functioning call, before you can hear each other. Yeah, the phone will ring if you call out or ring when someone calls you, but neither one of you will hear each other. This really gets to you after awhile.

Second issue is the display brightness would frequently not remain on the last setting at night…forcing you to click the brightness adjustment one notch to get it to revert. Very minor in comparison to the bluetooth/ringtone issue.

I’ve been aware of CyanLabs/SynUpdater for awhile, but I’ve always been wary of monkeying with my APIM/loading something technically not Ford-authorized into my truck. I kept holding out unreasonable hope that Ford would fix the very real problems I’ve previously mentioned which are well documented at Google, various websites, etc. The straw that broke the camel’s back was my recent purchase of a Motorola MA1 wireless Android Auto attachment (turns wired Android Auto into wireless Android Auto…great product, short supply right now). Logically I suspected it wouldn’t change anything, but I held off on SynUpdater until I had the MA1. Didn’t change a thing.

In the past I had downloaded SynUpdater and poked around in it, even created a USB stick for practice, and familiarized myself with the process. Also read lots of threads here, and also posted a couple questions seeking reassurance everything would work as advertised. Everyone was very patient and helpful.

Yesterday the whole bluetooth/ringtone thing happened to me again, and that was it. Came home, re-downloaded SynUpdater, then created the USB to upgrade from 3.0.20204 to 3.4.21265. Although it probably wasn’t necessary, after unplugging all USB ports, I deleted all bluetooth and Android Auto connections from my phone and also did a Master Reset of my Sync 3 prior to upgrade. I followed the well-written instructions to a T. Took only about 7-8 minutes or so (I didn’t time it), did a Master Reset, then hooked everything back up. Everything went exactly as this website and SynUpdater said it would.

This has fixed the bluetooth/ringtone problem (positive about that) and I’m pretty sure it fixed the display brightness issue as well (will test some more). The interface is cleaner and things go smoothly. Other than the boot time being slightly longer (really not an issue), things are much, much better with 3.4 than 3.0. I have absolutely zero regrets in this whole affair other than taking so long to feel comfortable taking the plunge with 3.4, wish I had done it months ago.

That having been said…I’m not going to attempt any of the ForScan mods even though that’s certainly within my skill set, as I’m quite satisfied with 3.4 without any ForScan mods.

So…if you are stuck on 3.0.20204, have done your research, and want to upgrade to 3.4.21265…don’t hesitate to do so.


Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m sure it will be helpful to others.

Just a quick clarification about the screen brightness: there’s an outstanding ‘feature’ (it’s so old I can’t call it a bug anymore) in most of the 3.4s versions that affects Kuga and Focus, where the screen will flicker when auto adjusting the brightness. Other models have been fixed, but Kuga and Focus haven’t.

Also, some users reported some small issues or artifacts while playing music from USB.

I felt I had to say these things because it worked awesome for you, as most users.
But 3.4, as 3.0, is yet another Ford product, so it also has its Ford’s things…

One other improvement I noticed. With 20204, the weather temp and icon had disappeared from Android Auto. It’s back with 21265.

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