Ford Enhances SYNC AppLink for App Developers with New Capabilities and Tools for In-Car Experience Innovation

Ford Enhances SYNC AppLink for App Developers with New Capabilities and Tools for In-Car Experience Innovation

  • App developers will now be able to leverage Ford’s all-new SYNC® 3 technology to enhance the in-car user experience
  • Ford now offers access to real-time vehicle information enabling creation of innovative app experiences
  • New tools available for developers include a SYNC 3 technology development kit and vehicle data simulator software development kit – allowing testing and development without access to a vehicle

DEARBORNMich., Sept. 18, 2015 – Developers can now leverage Ford’s all-new SYNC® 3 technology including advanced voice recognition and touch screen user interface to create apps that enhance the in-car user experience.

“Ford challenges developers to find new and exciting ways to improve the in-vehicle user experience,” said Doug VanDagens, Ford global director, Connected Services Solutions. “For the first time, Ford is giving developers the resources to help make vehicle-specific apps with new capabilities and tools to design experiences based on real-time vehicle information.”

SYNC AppLink enables drivers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat, and it allows for phone apps to appear on the SYNC screen as they appear on the phone. The AppLink experience is now enhanced on the SYNC 3 platform with its eight-inch capacitive touch screen with custom graphics. Developers have more than a dozen design templates to help develop a look and feel for their apps.

The latest set of AppLink application programming interfaces gives developers several new capabilities, including:

  • In-vehicle notifications: Developers can send push notifications to drivers through vehicle audio systems and displays – similar to users’ experiences on their smartphones
  • Voice pass-through: Offers the ability for app developers to take advantage of increasingly popular cloud-based voice-activated services for in-app experiences
  • Vehicle information access: Real-time information from various vehicle sensors allows for customization and personalization of app experiences

At the Ford Developer Conference Sept. 19, developers can access an all-new vehicle data simulator program that mimics the in-car experience using a technology development kit in various drive cycles. Available data includes average fuel economy, battery voltage, external temperature, fuel level, safety belt status, acceleration, driver braking, GPS, speed, tire pressure, vehicle identification number, odometer and engine rpm.

Since Ford rolled out the automotive industry’s first developer program in 2013, more than 13,000 developers have registered and more than 24,000 software development kits have been downloaded. There are more than 90 AppLink-compatible smartphone apps now running on iOS and Android devices around the world.

The AppLink application programming interface has been integrated into some of the world’s most popular smartphone apps – including Pandora, Spotify, Glympse, Sina Weibo and QQ Music.

Through its developer program, Ford hopes to grow the app ecosystem even further – especially in new categories such as health and wellness, connected home and productivity.