CarPlay Announcement Q&A

The Ford Developer Program is about more than just the creation of apps. It is about innovating with-and-at the pace of our customers in order to quickly have relevant, valuable and compelling content for each market in which we compete.

Q. Is Ford integrating Apple’s iOS in the Car? Why aren’t you moving to Apple like other automakers?

A. Ford SYNC currently uses our proprietary AppLink platform, which is device agnostic, for integrating smartphone apps into the vehicle. We also work with a variety of partners and suppliers, including Apple, to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers.

Q. How is SYNC AppLink different from Apple’s iOS in the car and Google’s new system?

A. The great thing about the SYNC and AppLink platform is that they are device agnostic, being compatible with any mobile operating system, including Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. We work with them and many other technology companies to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers.

Q. What is SmartDeviceLink?

A. SmartDeviceLink is an open-source platform we developed to help create an open industry standard for integrating smartphone apps into the vehicle. SmartDeviceLink is based on our AppLink software for controlling apps via voice commands, but is operating system agnostic so that manufacturers can implement it with any embedded operating system they choose including Linux, QNX and Microsoft Windows Embedded. By creating an industry standard, developers will get a larger potential market and more incentive to create apps. In January of 2013, Ford contributed SmartDeviceLink to the GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit consortium committed to driving the broad adoption of a global standard for in-vehicle infotainment.

Q. Why is creating an industry standard important to Ford?

A. Standardizing in-vehicle connectivity helps ease the burden on app developers who currently have to write software for multiple platforms. By creating an industry standard for integrating apps into the vehicle, developers will have access to a larger potential market and more incentive to create apps, enabling us to provide customers with in-vehicle access to more of the apps they want to use.

Q. What new features can developers access with SYNC AppLink APIs?

A. Recently announced capabilities include the following:

  • Voice pass-through – Offers the ability for app developers to take advantage of increasingly popular cloud-based voice-activated services like Google voice for in-app experiences
  • Vehicle Data Access – Access to vehicle data such as speed and GPS location allows developers to take advantage of the rich data available from vehicle sensors
  • In-vehicle notifications/background alerts – “Push” notifications from smartphone apps can be read aloud to drivers through vehicle audio systems

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