SYNC-Enabled Apps

In-Car Voice Control for Android Apps

Jessica Thornsby

Ford have announced that its 2011 Fiesta model will be the first vehicle to enable BlackBerry and Android smartphone users to access their apps via voice commands and vehicle controls.

The SYNC AppLink downloadable software program will enable this functionality.

“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 Organisation. “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.”

The first SYNC-enabled apps are currently scheduled for release later this year, and include Pandora internet radio, Orangatame’s OpenBeak app for Twitter, and Stitcher “smart radio.” Customers will be able to download these SYNC-enabled apps through the same app store interfaces currently used, and will be notified when SYNC-enabled versions of existing apps are released into the app stores. SYNC will also come with built-in apps, such as Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist, and the company predict that a new generation of apps developed specifically to take advantage of the in-car environment, will follow.

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