LAS VEGAS--Over the past year, Ford announced a few new apps integrated with its Sync AppLink platform every quarter, bringing the total to 10. At CES 2013, Ford takes a big leap, adding nine apps to the car.
- Wall Street Journal
- USA Today
- Amazon Cloud Player
- Aha Radio
- Greater Media
The newly compatible apps join the existing roster, which includes Pandora, Stitcher, NPR, and Scout navigation.
Ford divides compatible apps into three categories: News and Information, Music and Entertainment, and Navigation and Location. News apps, such as the Wall Street Journal, do not show article text on a display in the car, instead reading the stories out loud for the driver. Aha Radio not only plays music and podcasts, but also features location services, finding destinations such as restaurants on the road ahead for the driver.
To use the apps, the driver needs to have them installed on a smartphone, connected to the car by either Bluetooth for Android or a cable for iOS. The integration with Sync AppLink not only lets the apps play audio through the car's speakers, but also includes sophisticated voice commands. The driver will also be able to control the apps through a car's touch screen or dashboard controls.
Making Sync AppLink a global platform, Ford also announced a new partner in China, SINA, which will integrate its Weibo app.
Coinciding with the new apps, Ford announced a new program to make it easier for developers to integrate their apps with Sync AppLink. At the Ford Developer Program Web site, developers will be able to download the AppLink SDK, letting them engineer compatibility into their apps. The Web site will also offer forums and help from Ford engineers to integrate apps.
Ford will retain approval over app integration with AppLink, ensuring quality and appropriateness for the automotive environment.
Ford announced the developer program and the new apps during its press conference at CES 2013.