Ford Developer Blog

SmartDeviceLink (SDL) iOS 6.0.0 has been released

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2018 by Ford Partner Relations

The SDLC has announced that iOS 6.0.0 has been released!

Release, including Notes, can be found here: https://github.com/smartdevicelink/sdl_ios/releases/tag/6.0.0 .

This release removes SDLProxy, SDLProtocol, SDLTransport, and related classes from being public. It also adds a Menu Manager that is exposed through the `SDLScreenManager` introduced in v.5.2.0.

GitHub: https://github.com/smartdevicelink/sdl_ios

For further support on this release, please direct any questions to the SDL Slack Team http://slack.smartdevicelink.com/. Channel - #ios-help

RadioPlayer, the radio streaming app, now with full AppLink integration, returns to AppLink UK this month

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Ford Partner Relations

RadioPlayer, the radio streaming app developed in partnership with the BBC, returns to AppLink in the UK this month.

Now boasting full AppLink integration, the service brings together the best of commercial stations and BBC radio, and allows Ford customers to enjoy in-vehicle streaming of their favorite local radio stations.

Thanks to AppLink connectivity, the full range of web-based radio broadcasts can be enjoyed in Ford vehicles anywhere in the UK – even if the desired local station is not available on traditional channels like AM or FM.

Other features include station recommendations and favorite lists, the option to browse local or trending streams, and a diverse range of station categories from news and sport to pop, rock, indie, and everything in between.

2018 Ford Hackathon Argentina

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Ford Partner Relations

The next edition of Ford's Hack'n'Sync challenge comes to Campus Party at the Tecnóplis Showroom in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 26-27

Thursday, April 26

Ford's integrated open talks and workshops by Ford executives.

Friday, April 27

Ford’s Hack‘n’Sync challenge begins. This is where creative and passionate designers, application developers and project leaders from around the world will gather to enjoy 10 hours of open coding experience. The objective will be to create disruptive and innovative mobile applications within 10 hours that contribute to improving people’s quality of life by seeking efficiencies in the way we move.

 

This is the second year that Ford will host the Hack‘n’Sync challenge with Ford AppLink®, a 10-hour hackathon that was developed within the local Campus Party edition, in the Tecnópolis showroom and runs from April 26 to 27. As the only automaker in attendance, Ford will host workshops and open talks led by Ford executives.

The goal of the Hack‘n’Sync challenge is to create disruptive and innovative mobile applications that contribute to improving people’s quality of life, seeking efficiencies in the way we move. To achieve this, creative and passionate designers, application developers and project leaders from around the world are invited to enjoy 10 hours of open coding experience.

Using AppLink software to open code, the creative process of each team will result in a series of applications that will be presented to the jury and will be evaluated according to the degree of innovation, creativity and possible use in the vehicles.

In addition, Ford will also host two workshops in which executives will provide more tools to attendees to further develop their projects. The first workshop is entitled Design Thinking and will be hosted by Carla Isler, Ford Argentina, IT Business Area Relationship Manager. Design Thinking is a methodology that is changing the way we address complex problems and will help attendees to start thinking about Mobility solutions, ideation and prototyping for the Hack‘n’Sync. The final workshop is entitled AppLink Open Class where attendees can learn about how to use AppLink to control Android apps. This workshop will be hosted by Agustín Perez Moreno, Ford Argentina, Senior Connected Services Engineer.

Prizes up for grabs are a Notebook Gamer LEGION Y720 i7 16 worth $1,500.00USD, a Cellular Motorola Z2 + MOD JBL Sound Boost worth $1,000.00USD and a PlayStation 4 PRO worth $500.00USD.

Take your favorite Alexa Skills on the road with AppLink’s fully-integrated Ford+Alexa and Lincoln+Alexa interface

Posted on Friday, April 06, 2018 by Ford Partner Relations

Your car just became smarter – and more fun – with the further integration of Amazon’s Alexa interface into AppLink.

Simply plug your smartphone into AppLink and speak to Alexa – just as you would at home – to pull up any of the 25,000-plus skills currently on offer.

First, Ford integrated an Alexa Skill allowing owners to speak commands such as “Alexa, ask FordPass to start my vehicle,” or, “Alexa, ask FordPass how much fuel I have in my car”; now Ford has opened up access to the full Alexa Skillset to AppLink users while they’re on the road with the launch of Ford+Alexa and Lincoln+Alexa apps .

That means that you can ask Alexa to check your diary for the day en route to the office; fire up that motivational music playlist you’ve been working on; or pick up where you left off in that book you’ve been listening to. Just ask, and Alexa will respond – through your vehicle’s speakers – in the same familiar voice you hear through your Echo or Dot at home.

And because you can keep Alexa running in the background regardless of any other apps you may have open in SYNC, it means you can still fire questions at Alexa about your to-do list while your touchscreen is displaying Waze, for example, and navigating you around that traffic jam that’s just been logged.

Elizabeth Halash, Ford’s Third Party Cloud API Supervisor, said: “The integration of Ford+Alexa into AppLink builds on the versatility of Alexa as a platform and the success of services already offered via FordPass. We know, for example, that our customers love to unlock and start their vehicles remotely, or check tire pressure using their Amazon Echo.

“With Ford+Alexa we’ve taken that concept and developed it further, allowing our drivers to bring both the ease of use and familiarity of Alexa in the home into their vehicles – and onto the road.

“There are thousands of Alexa skills available, and this is a great way to leverage more functionality out of AppLink and help our customers make the most of their time behind the wheel.”

Ford+Alexa is currently only available in the United States – a worldwide release date has yet to be confirmed.

'Insanely rewarding': Acast's Simon Schmitz on the #MakeItDriveable Startup Challenge

Posted on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 by Ford Partner Relations

The 2017 #MakeItDriveable Startup Challenge wasn't any ordinary hackathon.

Before, during and after the competition, entrants like Acast's Simon Schmitz benefitted from FordDev's unique commitment to helping developers realize their most creative solutions.

"We've spent a day and a night hacking, there was lots of coffee, sweat, sleep deprivation…but then you're there, in the Eiffel Tower, and you have a working prototype, and you can demo it to everyone? It was insanely rewarding, and the best experience."

By focusing on developers and companies that already had a SYNC AppLink app either in the App Store or approaching launch, the 2017 edition of the #MakeItDriveable Startup Challenge produced solutions that added real value to the mobile experience of millions of drivers around the world.

"Our mission at Acast is to empower audio content creators to have their voices heard," Schmitz said, "and we saw a great opportunity to win Ford as a partner to accomplish that vision. Ford has been a leader and an innovator in tech—but not only that, you also get a grip on the market, and what the market truly needs. From that point, we can develop a solution that can change the way we consume audio in the car."

Schmitz raved about the level of on-site support, with Ford engineers and executives on-hand to answer questions and solve problems as they hacked against the clock. But Ford's support for Schmitz and the rest of the competitors went far beyond having developer resources on hand.

Ahead of the competition, Andreas Brockers, Ford Business Strategy Analyst – Connected Vehicles and the Ford Europe team sent applicants regular emails preparing them for the format and requirements of the challenge, helping competitors arrive in Paris ready to maximize the incredible opportunity.

As Brockers anticipated, teams that leveraged vehicle data were surprised and delighted by the power it had to transform their apps. Acast, one of the winning teams, enhanced their podcast platform with a vehicle-aware feature.

"They will now use voice commands so you can easily navigate through your daily dose of podcast listening while you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road," Brockers said.

The Ford team also helped entrants fine-tune their solution with focus groups of potential users on site. Beyond the preparation, documentation, hardware and even on-site mentoring, Schmitz cited the "unique" experience of meeting with a diverse group of drivers as the most valuable aspect of the competition—and a key differentiator from hackathons that only focus on code.

Brockers reiterated the point he made before the Startup Challenge began: "If you get accepted, you've already won."

"It's all about our mantra, 'Make it Driveable,'" Brockers continued. "Even if your app has nothing to do with the car, think outside of the box and think 'How can I do that?' If you think your app is already improving drivers' lives, then put it inside the car to be used in a safe way."

Could your mobile app could benefit from a wealth of vehicle data, mentoring from OEM engineers, expert evaluation and real-world user feedback? Watch the Ford Developer Program site and MakeItDriveable.com for the announcements of future events!


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