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Car Tech Video: Ford Sync Mobile Apps

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Car Tech Video: Ford Sync Mobile Apps

3:17 /

History is made with this platform that's the first to let you install apps on your car--sort of.

[ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Fusion hybrid boasting a 41-MPG number, great. Whole bunch of Car of the Year awards, including CNET's Tech Car of the Year, but what I'm really here to show you this car for is that it's got the new Sync Mobile apps platform. Apps in the car for the first time. Mark my word; this is some history being made. Okay, your first indication that things are changing inside cars is right here. You go to the menu on the system, and notice, this is not some fancy, high-end, LCD-equipped nav rig. This is a standard head unit in the Fusion. But you go to the menu button here, and you've got, oh there's a media menu. That's not too exciting. A play menu, okay, we've seen this kind of stuff before. Select source, obviously. Media settings, wait a minute, mobile applications just like you might have on your smartphone. Love that. That's exactly what it refers to, certain apps that are compatible with this system. A few to start, more later, like we have loaded here on this Droid, show up under mobile applications. I enter that. Here's one, Pandora. Love that idea. And then by hitting Pandora, I can now go through a variety of streaming functions that you'd normally fiddle with your smartphone and drive off the road doing. Instead, they are now brought up into the vehicle's interface. You've got all the Pandora functions, just about everything exposed right here on the display. Here's thumbs-up and thumbs down, which is classic Pandora stuff. You can also skip a song, just like in the software interface. Bookmark or an artist, you can go back and look at that artist later, or bookmark a song so you can go back and remind yourself to buy it. And all the other things, including what's playing in a list of stations. To get the stations and any other function, you can also go to a voice command. >> Pandora. Please say your command. >> List stations. >> Pandora stations. [Inaudible] City radio, Pink Floyd radio, Electric [inaudible] radio, Dave Matthews Band radio. ^M00:01:50 Pandora. Please say a command. >> Play Pink Floyd radio. That'll never work. >> Play station Pink Floyd radio? >> Yes. >> Tuning to station Pink Floyd radio. >> Now, Pandora, Open Beak, Stitcher, just the initial apps partners that Ford's announced, and there will be many more to come. Again, the apps stay on the smartphone, which is also where the data connection comes from. You're not having to go stick a GSN chip in your car or do anything like that with the vehicle itself. This is really an interface extension technology more than it is shoving the app onto some unfamiliar processing platform that you don't already have in your life, like your smartphone. Oh, by the way, when you're in this interface and using this mobile app connectivity to bring your controls up on the Ford dash, you cannot do that with your phone. This is a lockout screen. It says I have transferred control, basically, to the dashboard of your Ford, keeping you from the temptation to maybe pick this up and fiddle with the controllers you're used to. It says no, do it on the dash where things are better optimized for low-distraction driving. Now, as you saw, that was the basic Ford Sync interface, not the fancy LCD, as I pointed out. This will be coming out in that form later this year in 2010, and of course, it will also be in the fancier MyFord Touch look and feel with the new Lincoln MKX and redesigned Ford Edge, but they're not waiting for that interface to be in every car before they give you that mobile apps technology. That's good. ^M00:03:14 [ Music ]

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