Ford Adds Support for Apple and Android Connected Car Solutions

Tim Maytom

AppleCarplay_8232_HRAutomotive manufacturer Ford has announced it is adding support for Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay to its Sync 3 connected car technology, with every Sync-equipped car from 2017 onwards rolling off the assembly line with the support integrated.

2016 Sync 3 vehicles will get an optional upgrade for the support later this year, enabling iPhone owners to access Siri, Apple Maps and other Apple-exclusive services while driving, and Android users to access the Google services suite including voice search and Google Maps through their in-car infotainment system.

The move has been anticipated for a long time, with Ford expressing their interest at working with Apple when the tech giant first introduced CarPlay in March 2014. Given the combined market dominance of iOS and Android, the move is sure to increase the appeal of the automaker's Sync system with consumers.

"Sync allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they're comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle," said Don Butler, executive director of connected vehicle and services at Ford. "With Sync, we move at our customers' pace – making it easy for them to maintain a connected lifestyle no matter their choice of smartphone, apps or services inside and outside their vehicle."

The support for Android and iOS wasn't the only announcement for Sync 3 that Ford made in preparation for this year's CES conference in Las Vegas. The brand also revealed that new technology powered by 4G LTE will give owners the ability to remotely access features of their car using their phone, including checking fuel levels, locating parked vehicles, unlocking doors and even remotely starting.

The company has also expanded its Applink feature that enables drivers to voice-control smartphone apps while driving, adding support for Eventseeker, expense tracker Concur and Tencent's social media platform Chelian.