At last, at last, at last. Ford is finally adopting Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto for its in-car infotainment system, so the carmaker announced ahead of CES 2016 in Las Vegas this week.
We reviewed Ford Sync 3, the third iteration of the company’s connected car technology, last year, and that system will soon include support for both Google and Apple’s in-car platforms. Ford revealed that all model year 2017 vehicles equipped will Sync 3 will gain the support, while its 2016 Sync 3 vehicles will get an upgrade option later this year. That means iPhone owners can access Siri, Apple Maps and more, while those with Android Auto compatible devices get the Google services suite.
The move has long been anticipated. Ford expressed an interest in working with Apple back when CarPlay was first unveiled in March 2014, and this announcement is sure to boost its appeal given that iOS and Android pretty much account for the entire North American consumer mobile market.
That’s not quite all from Ford today, however. The auto giant has also added a slew of new apps to its AppLink platform — including AAA member services, Concur expense tracking and location-based service Eventseeker — and new 4G-powered Sync Connect feature that enable customers to remote start their vehicle, unlock doors, check fuel level and locate their car via their phone.
Ford said it has 15 million vehicles with its Sync technology (that includes earlier versions, too) on the road.
We expect to see and hear a lot more auto-related news from CES — you can follow all of our coverage from the event here.
And, one final plug, check out our Ford Sync 3 hands-on review for more details of what the company is up to in the connected car space.