Ford SYNC AppLink systemEnlarge Photo
Through the new voice-activated Traffic, Directions & Information (TDI) application that Ford offers in 2010- and 2011-model-year vehicles, both are now possible behind the wheel. Ford has added horoscopes, stock quotes, and movie listings, along with travel information to the system's navigation and traffic features.
The services are call-based and don't require a data subscription, or rack up additional connection fees; they're provided by Microsoft Tellme, which allows drivers to use their Bluetooth-connected phone to give make voice requests. Much like the old voice- or touch-tone services like Moviefone, the service accesses information through a set menu structure, but ties in nicely with the Sync interface and uses the driver's current location.
New stock features allow you to receive real-time stock quotes or get a list of investor specifics such as price-to-earnings ratio. With the travel-based services, it will connect calls through to 150 different airlines, 50 hotel chains, or 11 major rental-car companies.
The TDI features of Sync already allow turn-by-turn navigation, business search, and customized traffic services.
All the new features--demonstrated below in a 2011 Ford Fiesta--will be immediately available to those who have 2010- or 2011-model-year Ford, Mercury, or Lincoln vehicles. Since the upgrade, the first time they connect they'll hear a statement announcing the updated choices.
On vehicles so equipped with a version of Sync that has TDI, the additional services come with no subscription fee for the first three years of ownership.