Ford SYNCs with smartphone apps

Ford rolled out voice control of third party smartphone apps through its SYNC framework.

From the press release:

  • SYNC® AppLink, the industry-first software application that gives SYNC users hands-free voice control of their smartphone apps, is now available as a free download for 2011 Ford Fiesta owners at
  • Ford announces that Apple iPhone will be compatible with AppLink, along with initially announced BlackBerry by RIM and Android-based smartphones
  • Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak are the first SYNC-enabled mobile apps, some of which can be downloaded today from Android Market and BlackBerry App World, and soon from Apple App Store
  • SYNC AppLink comes first to 2011 Ford Fiesta owners, with more SYNC-equipped vehicles soon to follow

More and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services. “With AppLink, SYNC is a smarter solution for these drivers who choose to use these apps while driving – making it the only connectivity system available that can extend app functionality to the car using both voice and steering wheel controls.”

From Gigaom:

Getting cars to control smartphone apps through speech recognition like this ought to be appealing: according to a Consumer Electronics Association survey, 55 percent of smartphone owners prefer voice commands as their user interface for in-car smartphone integration. Aside from the consumer desire and benefits of intelligent, safe, voice-activated smartphone apps through a system capable of recognizing over 10,000 first-level Ford SYNC commands, developers stand to win as well.”

Even though its just for Ford Festas the whole SYNC platform is making solid progress and its not hard to imagine some kind of open API for smart phone app developers to use to make their apps work with the voice control of SYNC.

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.


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