Ford to expand AppLink, names head of connected car efforts

Ford to expand AppLink, names head of connected car efforts

Summary: At CES 2014, Ford will outline more of its connected car efforts and how it will build an owner experience using technology.


Ford on Friday said it will expand its Ford SYNC AppLink service, which allows you to control smartphone apps via voice commands, to 3.4 million more vehicles in 2014 to bring its reach to nearly 5 million cars.

applink ford

The automaker was out front with its SYNC connected car system in 2007 and in 2010 launched AppLink to bring developers into the fold. Ford is attempting to make the automobile cockpit differentiated via apps, technology and a digital lifestyle. According to Ford, 1.4 million vehicles have AppLink on the road today and more than 60 apps---Android and iOS---now allow for SYNC voice commands.

Ford will enable AppLink via a download to model years 2010 and later. AppLink is available on Sync, Sync with MyFord and Sync with Voice Navigation.

Also see: Ford's 'open platform' car: How open is 'open'?

Meanwhile, the automaker named Don Butler head of its connected vehicle and services unit. Butler, who most recently was vice president of global strategy for GM's Cadillac unit, will oversee development and planning for Ford's connected car efforts.

In the end, Ford is trying to deliver more than an auto to its customers. Ford is ultimately going for a customer "ownership experience" so it has touch points inside and outside the vehicle and can ultimately engender loyalty.

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Software Development, CES

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  • will Ford have bump to xfer technology

    When you hit someone it automatically transfers your insurance info. :-)
  • Car makers don't get it

    All I want in the car is a decent display that links to MY device. Keep the sat nav, (I have a better one), keep the music storage, my device is more than capable, don't need or want XM, I have it via the internet and 4G, don't need a DVD player, have my videos on my device...

    Do you see a trend here Ford??? My relatively cheap device(s) means I don't want or need you to add $2K+ to the cost of a car. Oops, I guess that isn't what you wanted to hear...
  • Amen to that, NATG!

    Ford has gone off the deep end with their in-car tech. They're trying to cram functions in with apparently no regard to usability. Prime example: MyFord Touch. It's a UI disaster. If there's one place where the UI should be ultra-simple, it's in a vehicle. Ford gets flunking grades on that!