SYNC AppLink Gives You Hands-free Voice Control of Your Smartphone Apps

SYNC® AppLink is now available for download as the industry-first software application that gives SYNC users hands-free voice control of their smartphone apps. SYNC AppLink comes first to 2011 Ford Fiesta owners, with more SYNC-equipped vehicles soon to follow.

Ford is also announcing a new member to the AppLink family: the Apple iPhone. The popular smartphone makes for a powerful addition, and will be joining Android and Blackberry smartphones as compatible devices with the software that allows apps to be controlled through the SYNC voice recognition system – a smarter alternative to manually controlling apps while driving.

Owners of SYNC-equipped 2011 Fiesta vehicles can download AppLink for free by clicking here to log into the SYNC owner website, syncmyride.com.

We will host a live chat on theFordStory with Julius Marchwicki, SYNC Product Manager, on December 23, 2010, at 11:00am EST. Click here to join the chat.

Recent studies indicate 46 percent of adult smartphone users have apps on their phones and 36 percent of those admit to using those apps while commuting. Moreover, the 2010 study “Staying Connected on the Go: A Look at In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Systems” conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association reports that 55 percent of smartphone owners prefer voice commands as their user interface for in-car smartphone integration, making the business case for SYNC and AppLink even more compelling.

2011 SYNC-equipped Ford Fiesta owners need to log in to their account on syncmyride.com to access the free AppLink download in the Update & Customize section.

As with any typical download, the AppLink software can be stored on a USB memory stick, and then inserted and uploaded to the vehicle via the SYNC system’s USB port. In-car installation takes less than 10 minutes.

The first SYNC-enabled apps to market are Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for listening to Twitter posts. Once the AppLink upload is complete, customers can then visit their phones’ respective app store to download the latest SYNC-enabled Pandora, Stitcher or OpenBeak app to their smartphone as they would any other app.

Current availability of SYNC-enabled apps:

Pandora
  • Apple iPhone: Coming early 2011

  • Android: Available now (V1.5.3 or higher)

  • BlackBerry: Available now (Version 1.1.6 or higher)


Stitcher
  • Apple iPhone: Coming early 2011

  • Android: Coming early 2011

  • BlackBerry: Late availability


OpenBeak
  • BlackBerry: Available now from openbeak.com and soon in Blackberry App World (Version 1.4 or higher)


AppLink makes the connection between app and SYNC fairly seamless and simple, using Bluetooth streaming on paired Android and BlackBerry smartphones and the USB port for a connected Apple iPhone.

To access a mobile app with a SYNC-paired phone, the user simply has to press the VOICE button on the steering wheel and say the command, “Mobile applications,” followed by the name of the app he or she would like to launch.

Ford will feature demos of AppLink at the Pepcom Digital Experience media event in Las Vegas on Jan. 5, 2011, and then at the 2011 International CES consumer technology trade show in Las Vegas between Jan. 6 and Jan. 9, 2011.