Ford launching SYNC AppLink with voice control over BlackBerry, Android apps

Ford launching SYNC AppLink with voice control over BlackBerry, Android apps

Summary: Ford will be livening up its Fiesta with the launch of SYNC AppLink in the 2011 model. The software will make controlling certain technologies easier and hands-free via voice command over Android and BlackBerry smartphone applications.


Ford will be livening up its Fiesta with the launch of SYNC AppLink in the 2011 model.

The software will make controlling certain technologies easier and hands-free via voice command over Android and BlackBerry smartphone applications.

Given that not everyone is so sure about incorporating new technologies into automobiles fearing that they might be too distracting, Ford is hoping the voice control method with SYNC AppLink will be a bit more popular.

Some of the apps that drivers (or passengers) will be able to control with the sound of their sweet voices include Pandora, OpenBeak for Twitter and Stitcher radio. At first, having a Twitter app while driving seems a bit silly and unnecessary, but the micro-blogging site has proven to be useful in emergencies. For an in-depth look at how to use the in-car voice system, Slash Gear has compiled a series of promo videos in one spot.

Set to be released and ready to download by the time the 2011 Ford Fiesta is released, Ford will also install the software on all SYNC-equipped vehicles next year. We should also see some additional smartphones, including the iPhone, at that time too.

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, Mobility, Telcos

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  • Ford's Sync with MS is NO for me

    And I do own a 2009 Focus. I know how it works.

    Using Android to interface with it seems like a monkey contraption. Ford, drop MS and just use Android, you will see users will love it. MS products have a problem, and its called bloat.

    Other than novelty sync on my 2009 focus is useless the G1 over bluetooth works wonders!

    Sync needs to improve on AGC before its useful in anyway and road noise cancellation on a small car is a must before it becomes useful in any way. The mic should not be on the mirror. You are better off placing two mics closer to each passenger and one for road noise cancellation.

    Most people on the other side of a call complain that voice goes in or out or that I am too far away from the mic.

    Sync does not work. Android's voice commands for music or phone calls do!
    • Seems to work fine....

      For me. Haven't had any problems with it. Sounds more or less like you just hate Microsoft so anything they did would not be good enough for you. I know many others and no one is complaining about the sync system in their cars. Have you tried updating it to the latest rev?
    • MS Bloat with Sync?

      Seems like you're just bringing your dislike for MS into this discussion.

      I have a 2010 Escape with Sync and use it all the time with my Blackberry. It works great for making calls, bluetooth audio playback and syncing my address book.

      "Sync does not work". Well, must be you...I have no issues with the recipient of my calls hearing me, perhaps there is an issue with your mic? When I say "Play Artist XXXX" plays that artist.

      Also, not sure how your call quality issues would be fixed by switching to Android?

      Perhaps it's user error?
      • Here is the diff.

        On Sync:

        You state:

        If there is more than a single choice, the
        system tells you all options available on at a
        time and you have to press the number on the

        On Android.

        You State:

        Call Mary!

        It knows who you are calling, if there is more
        than one, say the number you're done or press
        the choice on the screen.

        Android is slick and fast.

        Sync is cumbersome. If you understand how this
        translates to application programming
        underneath, you can see why it takes more steps
        to accomplish the same task.

        Android hasn't failed me yet, Sync will end up
        calling other phones on occasions,
        • Really....

          Actually I hit the phone button and then hit the sync button and I just say "call" whoever.

          Maybe you can help me since you know Android. I have the Droid and the damn thing always goes to the "car home" screen when I get it out of my pocket. Not sure how it even gets started but it does and I can't seem to figure out how to not have it do this because its annoying as hell. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
          • 'Car home screen' mode.

            There is a possibility that your Motorola DROID is hitting something in your pocket. You might want to check the connectors that actually make the connection to your car dock mounting bracket. The car dock does something to the Motorola DROID to activate it into the car mode. Something in your pocket could have trigger it. That is my best guest considering that I do not own a Motorola DROID Android phone. Another suggestions is to take it to the Verizon center. Perhaps they can troubleshoot it for you.
          • actually...I say

            If I'm in MP3 mode, I say "Phone, Call Mary on Mobile"

            If I'm in Phone, I say "Call Mary on Mobile"

            If I am not in Phone, If I say "Call Mary", it will say, "Switch To Phone?" then I say "Yes"

            I'm not arguing that Android doesn't have a good speech recognition...I'm simply saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with Sync from Microsoft...we don't have to pick on it or hate it simply because it has MS's name attached to it. It works very well.
  • Not sure you'll see it on the iPhone...

    It looks like an app that will control other apps on the
    phone. Is this even allowed on the iPhone?
  • Ford's decision to use Microsoft's SYNC.

    I'm sorry to say but I'm not overly impressed with Microsoft's SYNC technology. Has anyone seen some of the YouTube videos of the SYNC in operation? It is strictly voice control with a very primitive display. Plus how much Ford has to pay Microsoft for this? That get passed on to their customers buying the car.

    Ford's decision to use Microsoft's technology perhaps predates Android's popularity and its usage as an advanced touch screen embedded system now being used on kitchen appliance (microwave oven, washing machine), HDTV, and now in production, cars made in China! Yes, they are using Android (see pictures here):

    I think it is time for Ford and other auto manufacturer to use a more advanced system like Android. It just makes much more sense to have a large screen Android display in a car than having to juri-rigged your cellphone to serve as your navigation system. After all the Google's GPS Navigation running on Android is quite revolutionary (video here):