Now Ford brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to Sync 3 vehicles

Ford will be giving Sync 3 vehicle owners an update that will expand their infotainment system to run Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto.


With the addition of Apple CarPlay to the Ford Sync system, drivers will be able to use their iPhone for maps, messages, phone and music through Siri or the touchscreen.

Image: Ford

Ford says it will be making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available to all Sync 3-equipped vehicles this year.

Sync 3 is the auto-maker's BlackBerry QNX-based infotainment system that it announced late last year as the replacement for its ageing predecessor, dubbed MyFord Touch in the US, which recently gained Apple's Siri Eyes Free support for iPhone owners.

However, Ford says Sync 3 is all about choice and as a result will soon support both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, offering in-car connectivity regardless whether customers use an iPhone or Android handset, Ford announced at CES 2016 on Monday.

"Sync allows customers to bring the smartphone technology they're comfortable with into a vehicle and use it without hassle," Ford connected vehicle and services executive director Don Butler said in a statement.

"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."

Support for the Apple and Google in-vehicle interfaces will come in two phases. Ford said Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available on all 2017 vehicles equipped with Sync 3 that are sold in North America, while owners of 2016 vehicles with Sync 3 will gain the new features via an update later this year.

CarPlay and Android Auto essentially allow an owner's smartphone to replace the vehicle's main display, bringing across apps, messaging, maps and navigation powered by Apple or Google. The aim is to offer a familiar interface to drivers with additional voice controls to ensure they can stay connected and communicate with minimal distraction.

For iPhone owners, Sync 3 support for CarPlay will allow drivers to fire up Siri by pressing the voice-activation button on the steering wheel and from there ask for directions or reply using voice-to-text messages.

Android owners will be able to use Google Maps, Google Play Music and other apps while Google voice search handles questions.

Ford also announced a new feature that will allow drivers to use their phone to remotely start, unlock doors, check fuel levels and locate a parked vehicle. This feature comes by way of Ford's new 4G LTE powered Sync Connect system.

Finally, for drivers who don't want a Google or Apple experience on the dashboard, Ford is offering App Link, which offers its own set of voice-control apps for the car.

These include AAA/CAA for US and Canadian drivers, respectively, which relies on GPS data to access fuel prices and find gas stations; Concur, an app that helps the business traveler log mileage; Eventseeker, which helps drivers locate nearby social events; and Tencent's Chilean messaging app.