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Ford Sync AppLink goes live, iPhone due early 2011

updated 12:00 am EST, Wed December 22, 2010

Ford Sync AppLink ready for Android, BlackBerry

Ford tonight acted on a promised upgrade to Sync and launched AppLink. The framework lets third-party smartphone apps talk to and control Sync with only the app, not the car, having to know the tasks. An updated Pandora Radio can stream audio from its 3G connection to the car, give the dash display track ID, and support thumbs up or down through spoken controls; the Twitter client OpenBeak can feed updates and read them back with text-to-speech.

Full support is available first for the 2011 Fiesta and needs a firmware update to the car from a USB flash drive. Android and BlackBerry users have access to an AppLink-aware version of Pandora today; OpenBeak is also available for the BlackBerry at the same time from OpenBeak and from BlackBerry App World soon. Either platform and app can pair up through Bluetooth. The audio news app Stitcher will add support in early 2011, and other apps should come in the future.

Along with the existing platforms, Ford added the iPhone to its AppLink support and plans to roll it out sometime in early 2011. All of the same features from other platforms will be available, although Apple's handheld will have to rely on USB instead of wireless. Pandora and Stitcher will be the first two apps to support the iPhone.

Pandora Radio on Ford Fiesta



OpenBeak



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000

    +2

    No Fords for me ...

    until they dump MS Windows (that's what Sync is based on). It's bad enough I had to put up with Windows in the corporate world; I won't let it near any car of mine.

  1. loudpedal

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +8

    No wireless for iPhone

    Anyone know why the iPhone is saddled with having to connect through wires while the others get wireless support?

  1. pakegler

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010

    +2

    I wonder if they will ever fix...

    ...the iPod Touch's constant "initializing" issue?

  1. gprovida

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006

    +2

    MS Has Consistently Treated Apple As Second Class

    It is unlikely I will take my Lincoln LS and migrate to a new Ford/Lincoln if MS Synch remains the baseline. Other luxury manufacturers are a whole lot more responsive to Apple device owners.

    The "excuses" for treating Apple products, iPhone, iPad, and iPod with delayed and lesser capabilities [Bluetooth, USB, etc.] has been the hallmark of Microsoft. This is evident in MS Office that is only gradually and grudgingly upgraded and never to parity. My bet is Zune and Phone 7 will be spot on for functions, .....

    I am reluctant to hold my devices from Apple hostage to MS support to Ford. MS has a million excuses, but the only incentive for them to support Apple products fully and in a timely manner will be Ford's insistence and as evidence to date, that has not been forthcoming.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +2

    Ford's press release never mentions Microsoft.

    Ford and Microsoft worked together on SYNC, which is based on the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive operating system. Bill Gates and Ford CEO Alan Mulally jointly announced SYNC in January 2007 at CES. And yet Ford's latest press release on SYNC gives no mention of Microsoft.

    Ford is clearly trying to hide their relationship with Microsoft. And who can blame them?

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