Ford AppLink system helps you find a space with Parkopedia

New apps announced today at Mobile World Congress include the parking space database and music discovery service Aupeo.

Ford's here at Mobile World Congress to highlight how connected its new cars are. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Ford's smartening up its new cars with an app that helps you find a parking space. Parkopedia lets you search among 15 million spaces across Europe, showing which car parks have free spaces and listing how much they cost.

It covers 3,000 towns and cities in 20 countries across the continent.

The carmaker's AppLink system, which is available in its new EcoSport SUV and the newly announced 2015 Focus, is voice-activated and already has apps from Spotify, Tom Tom, Radioplayer, and others.

Another new addition is Aupeo, a music discovery service with over 200 channels to choose from. That's a big plus here in Europe, where in-car digital radio is relatively niche.

"These new AppLink partnerships significantly extend the growing range of smartphone apps drivers will be able to access by voice while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation.

Ford has a surprisingly big presence here at Mobile World Congress, choosing the phone show to launch its new Focus, which has an 8-inch touch screen for its app system. It also has some nifty natural-language stuff -- say, "I'm hungry" and it'll give you restaurant recommendations.

The new apps will be available to all Ford cars with AppSync -- that's more than 1.5 million vehicles in North America, according to the company.

In a real sign of the times, you'll be able to buy the first 1,000 new EcoSport SUVs through Facebook.

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