Ford (NYSE:F) keeps moving forward with its Sync multimedia suite. The system already offers voice-activation commands for phone, audio, and navigation. Now Ford is going to give drivers even more control over their various devices.
The new AppLink is a downloadable program that will allow owners of smartphones that use Android and Blackberry operating systems to run applications through Sync. Drivers will be able to use voice commands and steering-wheel controls to run their apps hands-free through the Sync system.
AppLink will be introduced on the 2011 Ford Fiesta, and it will initially work with Android and Blackberry systems, before eventually becoming available on all Sync-equipped Ford models. The system will eventually be compatible with iPhones--Ford says some time next year--and other smartphones.
The first apps will be Pandora Internet radio, Stitcher "smart radio," and Orangatame's OpenBeak Twitter application. Others will follow. Ford will also create a Web site for application developers that want to develop apps for Sync.
Ford is doing this because the company has taken notice of how fast the app market has grown for smartphones. Not to mention our society's increasing penchant for being connected wherever we go. Cars are only going to get more connected in the future, and Ford is trying to get a jump on the market.