Ford Developer Blog

Join the Ford Dev Team at CES 2014

Posted on Monday, December 09, 2013 by Ford Partner Relations

Heading to CES in 2014? Want to pitch us your idea for a cool AppLink enabled application? The Ford Dev Global Business Development team will be holding meetings throughout the week at CES in January and we want to hear from you! We are looking for innovative and unique app designs that incorporate the awesome new features and functionality included in the AppLink 2.0 SDK release. If you have an extraordinary idea and think you can impress us, go to the Contact Us form tell us a little bit about your app and why you think it deserves to become an AppLink enabled app. You may get an invitation to join us at the Ford display in North hall to go in to more detail and possibly even be invited to work with the Ford Dev team to enable your dream app. Make sure to Include: Where Will Your App Will Be Distributed?

  • Global
  • Specific Markets; North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, India
Is Your App Currently Available or In Development? Give An Overview of the In-Vehicle Experience? How Would Use the New AppLink 2.0 Capabilities? Space is very limited so respond soon with your cool app idea…and we may see YOU in Vegas!

AppLink Reaches out Globally

Posted on Saturday, February 02, 2013 by Ford Partner Relations

Please choose a language: 1) English, 2) Chinese, 3) Java, or 4) Objective-C

The AppLink Team here at Ford Motor Company wasn’t kidding when we said we were going global with AppLink. Last week, three of us hopped on a 14 hour flight from Detroit to Beijing so we could meet our Ford AppLink Team counterparts in China and hack with some developers at Baidu, which is a major web-search provider in China, much like Google in the US.

We arrived a few days before the 24-hour Hackathon to meet with Baidu developers and start helping them with their hack ideas. Luckily, most of them spoke English fairly well, but when all else failed, the code did all the talking! We also met a few of our own Ford co-workers for the first time; hackathons not only breed innovation, but also bring people together.

The Hackathon was kicked off bright and early at 9am. As the top prize was a trip to next month’s Mobile World Congress, everyone worked feverishly over the next 24 hours, with some squeaking in only a few hours of sleep. The constant supply of food and drinks helped keep everyone energized and hacking. There were definitely some interesting chip flavors, though: Italian red meat flavored potato chips, anyone?

By 9am the next morning, 26 hack projects were submitted for the judging round. Some projects included a location-based reminder app, a music player based on your mood, and even a demo using Baidu’s new facial recognition APIs to detect drowsiness while driving. It was especially fascinating and very exciting to hear Chinese spoken out of the speakers of the TDKs that we shipped from the US.

My favorite part? Blasting ‘Gangnam Style’ in the big auditorium and making everyone get up and dance at some early hour of the morning. It concluded with a huge round of applause from the developers. We, in turn, would like to applaud Baidu for hosting and letting us hack together to create some great AppLink apps.

-Liz

Ford AppLink Team

请选择语言:1) 英语,2) 中文,3) Java,或4) Objective-C语言

我们AppLink要走向全球,福特汽车公司的AppLink团队说这话是认真的。上周,我们一行三人坐了14小时的飞机从底特律前往北京,见到福特AppLink团队远在中国的同行,以及一些百度的开发人员。百度是中国主要的网络搜索服务提供商,类似美国的谷歌。

我们在24小时Hackathon编程马拉松赛开始前的几天抵达,见到了百度的开发人员,开始帮他们设计创意。很幸运,他们大多数人的英语说得不错,当其他尝试都宣告失败,代码帮了我们大忙!我们还第一次见到了福特的同事;Hackathon编程马拉松赛不仅鼓励创新,而且让大家团结起来。

Hackathon编程马拉松赛在早上9点准时开始。大奖是下个月举行的世界移动通信大会之旅,为此每个人在接下来的24个小时都拼了,有的人只睡几个小时。不间断的食物和饮料供应使每个人保持精力充沛的竞技状态。颇有一些有趣的薯片风味,比如:意式红肉薯片,谁想吃?

次日早晨9点,26个编程项目被提交评审。内容五花八门,有基于地点的提醒应用程序、基于心情的音乐播放器、甚至还有一个试用软件利用百度最新的人脸识别应用程序界面侦测驾驶时的困倦情况。看到中国人用的TDK话筒是从我们美国运来的,真的让我们很开心。

要说我最爱的部分,当然是“江南Style”,早上音乐在大厅响起,让所有人起来跳舞。最后传来开发人员的一片掌声雷动。反过来,我们也感谢主办方百度,让我们有机会一起集思广益,创造出一些伟大的AppLink应用程序。

-Liz

福特AppLink团队


福特近日联合全球最大的中文搜索引擎百度,发起“车载云疯狂Hackathon”编程马拉松活动,共同挖掘车载联网应用的市场潜能。福特在北美已经举办或参与多次Hackathon,但在中国,这还是第一次。我作为福特亚太区AppLink的技术支持,有幸参与了这次难忘的活动。

1月26日9点到27日9点是紧锣密鼓的24小时Hackathon编程马拉松。75名百度工程师和10位福特工程师,基于百度云、百度LBS平台和福特AppLink平台,自由发挥创意,开发出了26个车载云应用,功能涵盖导航、天气、资讯、视听、分享、娱乐等多个方面。有coding也有欢乐。在Hackathon会场,三餐零食敞开供应,按摩沙发舒缓疲意,DJ热舞即兴上演,极限挑战突破自己。 整个过程充分体现了hackathon的精神 – 极限创新,快速实现,享受快乐!

在活动中,很多百度工程师感叹,没想到作为传统行业的福特公司,居然有如此好的创新氛围和与时俱进的互联网触感。作为福特技术团队的一员,我也深深的被百度工程师的技术素养和创新激情打动。这次Hackathon,只是一个开始,它是AppLink进入中国的开始,是中国的移动应用开发者认识AppLink的开始,是福特把更好的车联网体验带给中国用户的开始。

2013,AppLink,中国,敬请期待。

-贾静雯

福特AppLink团队

Recently, Ford launched On-board Cloud Crazy Hackathon jointly with the word largest Chinese search engine Baidu to tap the market potential of the on-board networking application. In North America, Ford has held or participated in several Hackathon, but in China, this is the first time. As the Ford AppLink technical support to Asia Pacific area, I had the honor to participate in this memorable activity.

The 24-hour Hackathon was held from 9:00 am January 26th to 9:00 am January 27th. 75 Baidu engineers and 10 Ford engineers, based on the Baidu cloud, Baidu LBS platform and the Ford AppLink platform, developed 26 on-board cloud applications with creativity, and the functions covering navigation, weather, information, audio-visual, sharing, entertainment and etc. The whole process fully reflected the Hackathon spirit – extreme innovation, rapid implementation and enjoyment!

During the activity, many Baidu engineers stated that they had not expected that Ford as a company in traditional industry could have such good innovation atmosphere and the up-to-date internet acumen. As a member of Ford technical team, I was also deeply impressed by the technology literacy and innovation passion of Baidu engineers. The Hackathon is just the beginning for AppLink to enter China, the beginning for Chinese mobile application developers to under AppLink, and the beginning of better on-board networking experience for Chinese users by Ford.

2013, AppLink, China, coming soon.

-Jingwen

Ford AppLink Team


 

Get In The Car!

Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 by Ford Partner Relations

In 2008 Apple flung open the gates of the walled gardens in the mobile content world and changed the landscape forever. Developers responded by flooding through these gates, tearing down the content silos and toppling those walls that had kept them out for so long. The way that this simple, but brilliant act changed the entire world is astounding.

The mobile device is the common denominator that has promoted this global identity change. It is what truly makes an application mobile. My background in the mobile industry spans retail distribution from the days of bag phones (they are a real thing, look them up) to smartphones, as well as the mobile content world from the days of Snake, Sudoku and ringtones, to the likes of MLB, Pandora, and Glympse today.

I have witnessed the transformation from the emergency phone that cost $1.99 per minute to place a call (and ended up in the glove box, often with a dead battery) to the handheld computer that contains ‘my whole life’ for billions of people today. Smartphone users report that their device is never more than 3 feet away at any point during their normal day. For many people around the world, part of that day is spent in a vehicle…commuting, traveling, running errands.

It is for this reason I am personally very excited to welcome you to the Ford Developer Program. The road has been leading to this moment since the launch of SYNC in 2007 and then the addition of AppLink in 2010. I look forward to building the Ford Dev community with you and eagerly anticipate the innovation each of you will bring to areas such as safety, navigation and entertainment.

We have unlocked the doors and dropped the top. So come on…get in the car!

Sincerely,

Scott Burnell

Partner Relations Lead

Ford Dev

Welcome. Developer meet Car. Car meet Developer.

Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2013 by Ford Partner Relations

Welcome. ようこそ. Bienvenidos. Bienvenu. Willkommen. 歡迎光臨.

2013 is going to be a great year for developers. As one myself, I’m happy to see the continued growth of various development platforms; new smartphone SDKs, projects like Raspberry Pi, and other initiatives churning out innovation to make things that are very cool, very useful, and hopefully, make some money.

That's why I'm excited that Ford is launching the Ford Developer Program, a global program to bring the coolness of SYNC® AppLink™ to Android and iPhone app developers around the world. @ developer@ford.com, you’ll find the resources to build, integrate, test and deploy your mobile apps with integration in to Ford vehicles. We already have 13 different brands including Pandora, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, NPR News, MLB.com, Roximity and TuneIn Radio that have already used our APIs to create voice activated applications using SYNC AppLink. We’ve also had a number of cool developers like Kaliki, USA Today, Rhapsody, Amazon Cloud Player and Glympse all use this site in beta form to develop their applications. With their help, we’ve consolidated all of our learnings in to resources available on this site to create working, vehicle-controlled and voice-enabled applications in AppLink-equipped vehicles today. And all these apps are developed on the smart phone, no vehicle required (though it is helpful)!

Much like any developer program, we have a lot to offer, but we have a lot of work to do. Currently, we only have hardware emulators available. When you’re ready, you can request one via the site. But we’re really working towards getting you our software emulator. This will let you test your application virtually, so you don’t have to test against hardware until you’re absolutely ready. On the SDK front, we are working hard on the next version to bring you additional functionality and vehicle access. Stay informed by ensuring you have the most updated contact information in your developer profile. We are also interested in hearing about ideas you have for a more awesome development experience. Please drop us a note @ developer@ford.com – and don’t be shy.

I’m excited to take this journey with all of you, and hope you’re in for the ride as well. I love car puns, get used to them.


Julius Marchwicki

Global Product Manager, AppLink

Ford Motor Company

'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!