Ford’s Sync connectivity system keeps adding features; now, the Dearborn automaker says that it will offer AppLink, a downloadable software program that will allow drivers to access and control Android and BlackBerry smartphone applications using voice commands.
The software will work with programs like Pandora internet radio, Stitcher “smart radio” and Orangatame’s OpenBreak, although Ford says that more programs will be available in the future.
“The growth in smartphone mobile apps has been explosive, and Ford has worked hard to respond at the speed of the consumer electronics market,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford’s Connected Services Organization, in a statement released to the media. “SYNC is the only connectivity system available that can extend that functionality into the car. AppLink will allow drivers to control some of the most popular apps through SYNC’s voice commands and steering wheel buttons, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
Initially, Ford will debut Sync AppLink as a downloadable software upgrade on the 2011 Fiesta, although the company says it will expand availability to all of its other Sync-equipped models next year. At that time, Ford says it will also extend interoperability to Apple’s iPhone as well as other smartphones.
Ford has also recently launched SNYCmyride (syncmyride.com) as a location for developers to modify existing applications and to work directly with Ford on creating new applications for Sync’s various functions.