Ford Developer Blog

2018 Ford Hackathon Argentina

Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Ford Dev Team

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 6, 2018 by Ford Dev Team

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.

New version of the SmartDeviceLink Library for ANDROID just released

Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 by Ford Dev Team

Benefits of updating

In addition to a number of fixes and enhancements, this update ensures Android Oreo compatibility and is a required update!

This update requires a manual modification of the Manifest files. Please see this guide here.

How to get the new Library

For easy integration of SmartDeviceLink Android into your project using Gradle, Maven or Ivy please grab a snippet from Bintray



API New Features & Breaking Changes

  • IMPORTANT: SdlRouterService manifest declarations now require an intent-filter and meta-data tags. These changes can be found in the documentation.
  • Now targeting version 26 to make use of new Android Oreo features.
    • Most broadcast intents are now sent explicitly instead of implicitly
  • Added methods to send a batch of RPCs. This includes chaining RPC messages or sending them all at once


  • Added method calls to retrieve pcmCapabilities from the SystemCapbilityManager
  • SdlRouterService had a good deal of refactoring and cleaning up to remove warnings and issues
  • Created a new way to retrieve the library version from apps.
  • Version checking for SdlRouterService is now performed before starting an actual router service.
  • General enhancements and stability fixes to the multiplexing transport feature

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a potential deadlock within the LegacyBluetoothTransport
  • Fix issue with video streaming not being able to restart after being stopped
  • Fixed issue where OnHMIStatus was ignored if the level was the same, but the AudioStreamingState had changed
  • Fixed potential NPE in the SdlProxyBase class when a packet was malformed
  • Fixed issue that would incorrectly unregister apps from the module through the router service when apps are being force closed and others register
  • Fixed issue in SdlRouterStatusProvider class where the handler wasn't able to obtain a looper.
  • Fixed issue in ServiceFinder class where the handler was using a looper than was exiting and therefore not posting the expected runnable
  • Fixed an issue that kept the SdlRouterService notification icon showing even if there were no current connects
  • Fixed an issue where the SdlRouterService would start regardless of what bluetooth device it connected.
  • UsbTransport was given a few fixes around incorrect exiting calls
  • Fixed an issue found with some modules where they would return a single SpeechCapability instead of a list


API New Features & Breaking Changes

  • Now uses compile version 26 to handle breaking changes in Android Oreo
  • MOBILE_PROJECTION added as an app type
  • Gesture cancellation was added as a touch even type
  • More languages were added to the Language enum
  • SystemCapaibilityQuery was added with a new SystemCapabilityManager that can retrieve capabilities
  • VideoStreamingCapabilities were added. Includes supported codecs, resolution, etc
  • Added constructed payloads using BSON
  • SDL Remote Control functionality was added. Supports radio and climate controls.
  • Added MetadataType to Show lines
  • Spatial data for video streaming apps added with HapticData


  • Enhanced video streaming APIs
  • Added much more test coverage
  • Updated buffer read in sizes and streaming packetizers to use TLS max record size
  • Consolidated all references to sdl.router.startservice string into single constant
  • Refactored RPC classes to consolidate redundant code for retrieving items from underlying data structures
  • MultiplexBluetoothTransport is no longer a singleton
  • Improved inline documentation
  • h.264 streaming now includes SPS/PPS NAL units with every I frame to match iOS library
  • Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) video streaming is now supported
  • Correlation IDs are now set automatically. Can be retrieved or overwritten by developer.
  • Introduced new video streaming callback and deprecated used of pipped streams
  • Added an internal interface for common functions between different managers

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed potential out of bounds exception in BinaryFrameHeader
  • Fixed issues with unit tests and TravisCI
  • Fixed potential NPE in SdlProxyBasemethod, performBaseCommon()
  • Fixed potential NPE in MultiplexTransport constructor
  • Fixed potential NPE in SdlRouterServicemethod, handleMessaage() for AltTransportHandler
  • Fixed potential NPE in SdlRouterServicemethod, writeBytesToTransport()
  • Removed hardcoded androidDebuggable = "true" from manifest
  • Added fixes to be compatible with Android Oreo (Does not supported target API level 26 yet)
  • Fixed issue where intent from router service was delayed
  • Apps now trust themselves as router service hosts
  • Removed ambiguous validation call in SdlBroadcastReceiver and unused intent extra
  • Cleared all warnings from SdlProxyBase


  • Added integration that will deploy to Bintray
  • Issue and pull request templates were added for GitHub
  • Codecov integration was added
  • Updated README links