Ford’s SYNC System Goes Live: iPhone, Android and BlackBerry Supported



Ford has just updated its SYNC system to support its new AppLink framework, allowing smart phones to interface with its cars. While only the 2011 Ford Fiesta supports the AppLink system so far—after a firmware update done through a USB thumb drive—the company’s other cars with SYNC are expected to soon follow. Some Android and BlackBerry apps have already been updated to allow access to voice control features and the rest of the AppLink package but apps running on Apple’s iOS should soon start supporting the features as well.

If you own a 2011 Ford Fiesta, a quick stop by should be on the top of your to-do list.

The list of apps currently set to support SYNC are Pandora, Twitter client OpenBeak and Stitcher news radio. Pandora is already supporting SYNC on Android and BlackBerry, while OpenBeak already has a BlackBerry compatible version out on its own website (it is coming to BlackBerry App World soon). iPhone apps supporting SYNC and the AppLink framework are expected soon. It shouldn’t be long before most major apps that have an actual use while driving should start updating to include SYNC support.

Don’t expect any games to work with AppLink, ever despite how awesome it sounds to be able to play Monster Dash while driving. It’s already bad enough to see people shaving, reading the newspaper and applying makeup while traveling down the highway. Ford’s own research shows that 36% of adult smart phone owners who use apps admit that they use them while driving. Voice commands should cut down the number of dangerous driving distractions considerably.

Ford SYNC in action:


As you can see, this will be a godsend for those who rely on smart phones and can’t just put them in the glove box while driving.

Interestingly, the iPhone will not be able to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to SYNC but will instead need to be plugged in via USB. Not a huge deal but still a bit of a pain. Blame it on Apple. It’s better than nothing though right?

So what do you think? Are voice controlled apps used during driving something that will catch on quickly? Think they are still too much of a distraction for drivers? Let me know your opinion. I doubt the number of people using smartphones while driving will ever decrease and that voice control is a decent compromise.

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