Customers have spoken, they want to speak to get their apps working in cars, SYNC AppLink software will allow hands-free
voice control of popular smartphone apps. The first apps will be Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak for Twitter, available through Android Market and BlackBerry App World for customers to download.
SYNC AppLink, a
downloadable software upgrade, will be released for 2011 Ford Fiesta owners with the award-winning SYNC communications and infotainment system later this year, allowing drivers hands-free control of apps on their Android or BlackBerry smartphones via voice commands and vehicle controls.
Ford will introduce AppLink on most SYNC-equipped vehicles next year, as well as provide interoperability with other smartphones. The new SYNC AppLink will seamlessly integrate apps using
the vehicle's voice and user interface controls, including buttons on the steering wheel, increasing eyes-on-the-road and hands-on-the-wheel time.
From its introduction, Ford has been building an ecosystem of
available SYNC apps, continuously improving the consumer experience.
- Built-in apps, including
Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™, are downloaded and
installed directly on the in-car SYNC operating system
- SYNC apps
like Traffic, Directions & Information rely on beamed-in, or
"cloud-based," information. Drivers access the Ford Service Delivery
Network, a network of data centers providing turn-by-turn directions,
business searches, and on-demand news, sports and weather information,
through a simple voice-connection using their cell phone.
AppLink represents the third category of the ecosystem, brought-in
apps, leveraging apps installed on a user's smartphone, such as
Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak
Ford and SYNC will offer the only platform available for
drivers to safely control their mobile devices and applications in the car. Leveraging SYNC's safer voice commands and steering wheel controls,drivers are able to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
"Brought-in" apps residing on a consumer's smartphone also eliminate the need for yet another piece of hardware to be installed in the car which only serves to add cost and complexity.
Customers will be able
to download SYNC-enabled mobile apps through the same app store
interfaces currently used. As SYNC-enabled versions of existing apps are released into the app stores, users will be prompted to download the latest version upon connection. Also, as developers grasp the notion that the vehicle interior has opened to them, a new dimension of apps designed from the outset to maximize the unique in-car environment will follow.
To facilitate future
SYNC-enabled app development, Ford has also activated a new developer
network on its SYNCmyride Web site (www.syncmyride.com/developer).
Interested developers can find a link to submit innovative ideas, and sign up for the latest information and news about the SYNC application programming interface (API) and software development kit (SDK). The package will allow developers to modify existing applications and create
all-new apps that can successfully interface with SYNC.