Smartphone apps coming to a Ford near you

Ever wondered why there’s not an ‘app’ for controlling your car? With Ford’s recent AppLink 2.0 announcement at the 2013 Computex show in Taipei, it appears how we interact with our cars is set to change, probably for ever, and it’s coming to a Ford near you.

Ford’s AppLink 2.0 technology opens the floodgates for smartphone developers to create new apps that can be used to enhance and personalise a driver’s experience.

This includes apps on many flavours of smartphones, including iOS, Android and Blackberry 10, with Windows Phone 8 under consideration.

To get the ball rolling, Ford announced three new apps that leverage AppLink 2.0 to extend their reach from the smartphone to the dashboard including Pandora, TuneIn Radio and Kaliki.

With the Pandora app, customers can stream Pandora personalised radio via Bluetooth to their AppLink 2.0 enabled car stereo, and select their favourite artist, track, comedian or genre, as well as vote for the music they like.

The TuneIn app lets people listen to music, sports, talk and news from around the world, with over 70,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations, along with over two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent.

AppLink 2.0 equipped vehicles also link to Kaliki, which is a smartphone app for Android devices that curates top news stories from major newspapers and magazines, and provides an audio version for on-demand playback in the vehicle.

AppLink 2.0 will make it possible to access our favourite apps, safely, while driving.

Ford’s Ed Pleet, Director of Connected Services across Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe, sees AppLink 2.0 as the ‘most recent development’, to enhance Ford’s existing in-car SYNC system, which currently enables people to use voice commands to control in-car entertainment, communications, navigation, emergency services and vehicle status.

AppLlink 2.0 creates a ‘bridge’ between SYNC and the smartphone app developer community, opening up the potential for innovative and imaginative apps. “The sky’s the limit”, said Pleet, who is excited by app integration and the endless creativity of the smartphone app development community.