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Ford juices Sync 4 to include wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

Major tech upgrades are coming to new Fords starting next year -- and they include over-the-air updates.

Ford over the air updates

The Blue Oval is getting more connected.

Ford

In a world where the automobile acts more and more like a connectivity hub, automakers continuously race to better integrate drivers' person technology. On Wednesday, Ford took a major leap as it announced improvements coming to its Sync 4 infotainment system.

The followup to Sync 3 will include -- drumroll please -- wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The feature is often a rarity outside of luxury brands such as BMW, and it's a lovely experience not having to plug anything in. The other big news for Ford vehicles is the addition of over-the-air updates, which will give owners the ability to receive updates without stepping foot in a service center.

The automaker said cloud-connected services will provide the seamless OTA updates, while the same cloud services will juice Sync 4 and make it smarter than ever before. The cloud-based functions will power simple voice recognition commands and call up internet search data to provide drivers and passengers with more relevant information. With the cloud hovering over new Ford vehicles, information such as traffic, construction and even parking will be available.

Ford SYNC 4

Coming to a new Ford near you.

Ford

Ford also flexed its Sync muscles to give the system twice the onboard computing power of Sync 3.

Ford hinted that its upcoming vehicles are in for supersized touchscreens, too. Sync 4 will work with a variety of different screen sizes, but the automaker mentioned 12- and even 15.5-inch touchscreens. Ford's largest screen size currently measures 10.1 inches, and sits as optional in the 2020 Ford Explorer with a tablet-like design.

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Depending on the infotainment screen size, users may be able to split the screen into smaller sizes for multitasking. Think keeping the navigation screen up while flipping to a new song. For larger screens, new "cards" will float at the bottom of the unit to quickly launch a function, rather than navigating back to a specific application.

Other improvements found in Sync 4 will include a digital owner's manual, Sirius XM with 360L, and wireless mirroring for specific apps such as Waze or Amazon Alexa.

Not every Ford will ship immediately with the new system. The automaker said select new vehicles will boast the more powerful infotainment system starting next year. Most redesigned Ford vehicles will house the OTA update function starting next year as well.