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Ford Sync 3 to be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Ford Sync 3 to be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

It seems Ford is really taking the technology bull by its horns. Not only is the automaker now testing autonomous cars at MCity, it is also making its new Sync 3 system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Announced at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Ford said they were opening up the system to developers of both iOS and Android apps. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said much the same thing about the Uconnect 8.4 NAV, but that is a little further off.

Opening up the system involves allowing app developers access to the software layer that interacts with other devices. That means apps will be able to access phone, audio, navigation and other electronic functions within Sync 3. Owners will be able to choose what has access and when, but this could open up a new world of interactivity between our phones and cars.

Apple CarPlay
Apple CarPlay is an interface that shares your iPhone screen on your vehicle touchscreen. From it you can make calls, navigate, send and receive messages, listen to music stored on the phone and much more. Depending on the system, you can also access Siri using voice.

Apple CarPlay is still new and more apps are being developed all the time. Owners will soon be able to access a huge range of features from listening to Spotify to using Apple Maps to navigate.

Android Auto
Android Auto is Google’s version of the interface that does much the same as CarPlay. The UI is simpler and easier to use and also offers the same features such as voice dialling, the ability to make and take calls, send and receive messages and navigate using Google Maps.

Android Auto is also compatible with a range of other apps such as Skype, Pandora, Kik and others, adding more utility to the system.

Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available right now but are only featured in high end cars or through aftermarket interfaces. The ability for Ford and FCA owners to connect phones directly to their cars will mean uptake will be huge.

If you don’t want Apple or Android connecting to your car, Ford is also expanding its own AppLink range of apps to offer a range of features similar to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A number of high profile names are working on AppLink-compatible apps to add similar functionality and will appear on the market soon.

Ford says they will build compatibility into 2017 Sync 3 models. So look out for them as they arrive. We’ll take a closer look at the system once we get some hands on time with it.

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