Today, Ford has announced SYNC AppLink, a downloadable software upgrade for Ford SYNC systems that will allow hands-free voice control of popular applications for the BlackBerry and Android smartphones.
The first car to get SYNC AppLink support will be the 2011 Fiesta, which will be available later this summer, allowing owners to access and control Android(TM) and BlackBerry(R) smartphone apps with voice commands and vehicle controls. When it does arrive, the first three supported apps are Stitcher, Pandora and Orangatame's OpenBeak Twitter program.
"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. "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."
More apps are sure to be available in the following months and Ford has setup a developer channel on SYNCMyRide to get programmers going.
If all goes well, AppLink will be installed in every single 2011 Ford model with Sync built-in.
AppLink will be available as a download sometime next year.
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