Ford updated its MyFord Touch – faster and with new graphics  [images/video] image

Ford Motor Co. on Monday has announced an update to its much-criticized car tech interface – MyFord Touch, in a try to fix its own reputation.

The new edition features refined graphics on the more than 1,000 screens in the system, is twice as fast, and comes with a few new goodies like Audible.com audiobooks integration and iPad compatibility.

John Schneider, Ford’s chief engineer for HMI, Driver Controls, and Infotainment, said, “The front end has been simplified and the system has been given selective functional improvements.”

The automaker will send flash drives with a software upgrade to approximately 250,000 U.S. customers next year. Owners can do the upgrade themselves in about 45 minutes, or dealers will do it free.

The new system features larger fonts and more distinct touch buttons. All preset buttons were moved from a vertical menu to a strip along the bottom, similar to the way most systems are organized.

Faster touch-screen response time, for example, was a key request from owners. Initial testing shows that touch and voice response is at least two times faster than the current system.

Automatic Bluetooth connection upon vehicle entry has been improved. Noise and echo cancellation during phone calls has been improved to enhance call quality.

Voice commands can be less specific now, and Ford will use Sirius’ new Game Finder feature to allow drivers to find their favorite sports team by saying something like, “Tune to Detroit Lions game.”