Archive for the 'Sync' Category


Ford First to Enable iHeartRadio App Inside the Car Using Voice Control

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 11, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ —


  • Ford is first to launch iHeartRadio app with voice control using SYNC® AppLink™
  • The new iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio service, delivers more than 800 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only stations, plus user-created custom stations – all in one fully integrated service
  • The SYNC-enabled iHeartRadio app is now available for download from the iTunes App Store and BlackBerry App World; it’s coming soon to the Android Market
  • iHeartRadio is the sixth app for SYNC AppLink that Ford is launching at the 2012 International CES
  • iHeartRadio is one of the first broadcast radio apps to connect listeners through a native in-car system to Facebook Timeline


Ford (NYSE: F) today announced it is the first automobile company to give drivers easy in-car access to the popular iHeartRadio app using voice control through Ford SYNC® AppLink™.

Continue reading ‘Ford First to Enable iHeartRadio App Inside the Car Using Voice Control’


Ford’s Sync in-car computer now inside 4M cars, adds on-demand NPR and navigation apps

source: MobileBeat

Ford’s in-car computer, Sync, is now installed in 4 million vehicles. To celebrate the milestone, the car company has added new abilities including hands-free voice navigation from Telenav and on-demand access to National Public Radio programs. The company announced the milestone and new apps at the Consumer Electronics Show Monday in Las Vegas.

In-car technology was one of the five big CES trends we predicted that would matter in 2012. Car markers, especially Ford, are racing (har har) to add connectivity and apps to their vehicle dashboards. Mercedes-Benz is expected to announce new in-car tech at CES as well.

Ford’s voice-activated Sync connectivity system was introduced in 2007 in the U.S. and lets smartphone owners do more with their cars by “syncing” with various smartphone apps. Ford will be bringing Sync to European and Asian models this year, and it believes an additional 9 million vehicles will be Sync-equipped by 2015.

One new Sync addition is a feature that lets drivers listen to National Public Radio programs and stations on-demand. Drivers will be able to piece together playlists comprised of programs such as Fresh AirAll Things Considered and Morning Edition using their voices. Just download the NPR smartphone app and you can begin to use with it Sync AppLink, which already works with Internet radio apps like Pandora, Slacker, iHeartRadio and Stitcher.

Ford also has updated its Sync Destinations mobile app, which lets drivers send all their destinations to their vehicle using the iPhone. The app now has added AppLink capabilities, and it can give turn-by-turn directions and it let drivers report traffic incidents in real-time. The Sync Destinations app will hit the BlackBerry and Android platforms before the end of Q1 2012.

Another upcoming addition to Sync is the ability to work with the new Scout navigation app by Telenav. The Scout app is available now for the iPhone and provides personalized navigation, turn-by-turn directions and traffic-based drive times. The Scout app will work with Sync later this year.


Ford Makes MyFordTouch Infotainment System Simpler, Faster: Video

Following a chorus of criticism of its MyFordTouch system, Ford has upgraded the software for the 2013 model year–and will make the upgrade available for all vehicles that have been sold with earlier versions.

The company is continuing to make MyFordTouch available on its lineup of new vehicles.

The latest Ford models to be offered with MyFordTouch are the 2013 Taurus and 2013

Flex–although it is not yet offered on the company’s best-selling model line, the F-Series pickup truck range.

It will also be available on the all-new Ford Escape compact crossover, which is to be unveiled to the public next week at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Faster responses, cleaner screens

The upgrade includes faster response for touch-screen inputs, better voice recognition, and compatibility with a wider range of mobile phones as well as tablets and e-books.

Continue reading ‘Ford Makes MyFordTouch Infotainment System Simpler, Faster: Video’


Ford cuts in-car texting risk with ‘talkback’ Sync feature

Given that mobile phone owners treat their handsets like virtual umbilical chords connecting them to the digital space, it’s hardly surprising to note that they tend tocause road accidents while type interfacing from behind the steering wheel.

Bearing that in mind, we must applaud automobile giant Ford, which is attempting to reduce the risks associated with in-car texting by introducing a new feature that reads incoming messages to the driver.

The feature is set to arrive as an update to Ford’s existing Sync voice activation platform, which is already installed aboard all 2012 Ford models—although, for some reason, not on the 2012 Ford Ranger.

The feature works by using Bluetooth to connect to the driver’s mobile device, after which it alerts the occupant(s) each time a message is received, reading it aloud and even enabling the intended receiver to select from several stock replies by simply issuing a voice command.

Of course, the talkback message function is only likely to help quash part of the problem, at least insofar as there’s absolutely no guarantee it will dissuade drivers from responding directly to their texts by manually composing more personal and lengthy in-car replies.

The Sync upgrade will be made available today from the official Ford Sync website and is compatible with all Ford vehicles produced from 2010 onwards. To install the feature, users need only download the upgrade pack onto a USB drive and then transfer the drive to their waiting vehicle’s connection port.

Ford has said models produced before 2010 that are also using Sync will receive the upgrade in the near future.


How NW companies helped Ford with in-car technology

Source: TechFlash

With the help of Microsoft and some local tech startup companies, drivers of some new Ford vehicles now have more technology at their fingertips.

Products from TeleNav and Seatte’s Airbiquity are implemented in MyFord Touch, an all-in-one setup in selected new Ford vehicles that allow users to do just about anything – make phone calls, use navigation, change the radio station or change the vehicle temperature, all with voice commands or a touchscreen.

Ford’s Sync system has been available for a few years. The underlying technology was developed by Microsoft, but MyFord Touch builds upon Sync and adds numerous capabilities.

But implementing the technology raised two concerns: keeping drivers safe and making it usable for most people.

Jennifer Brace, user interface design engineer with Ford, said numerous federal regulations are in place to keep a driver’s attention on the road.

Continue reading ‘How NW companies helped Ford with in-car technology’


Ford Sync car tech now in 3 million vehicles

Ford said today that its Ford Sync car-computer system is now used in 3 million vehicles in North America.

That seems to answer the question about whether Americans will embrace computers in their cars to ease the doldrums of a daily commute and to use technology to make driving easier and safer. Of course, it’s open to debate as to whether car computers could actually distract drivers from driving. The announcement was made in advance of the keynote speech by Ford chief executive Alan Mulally on Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show, the big tech show that kicks off on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Sync is a computer system that allows you to control your entertainment and communications in your car using your own voice commands. You can use it to make hands-free calls and switch music. Sync can automatically connect you with a 911 operator if you’re in a wreck where your air bag deploys. It can read aloud text messages, provide you with driving directions, and give you an update on vehicle maintenance needs. It uses voice recognition from Microsoft.

Ford first included Sync as a $395 option in its 2008 Ford Focus cars (launched in the fall of 2007). Today, Sync is available on all Ford and Lincoln cars, except those targeted for commercial or fleet use. Car buyers are opting to pay for Sync about 80 percent of the time on the newest car models. Ford says 80 percent of users recommend it to others, up 5 percent from a year ago.

The Consumer Electronics Association, which puts on CES, said in a 2010 study that 55 percent of smartphone owners say they prefer voice commands as their primary means of communicating in a car.



Chicago Ford plant to use Wi-Fi in assembly


The Ford Motor Co. assembly plant on Chicago’s South Side will be among the first to use Wi-Fi wireless Internet technology to install software inside the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV.

The assembly line is lined with wireless routers — similar to the routers that people install in their homes to get wireless Internet access — and the Explorer contains a built-in Wi-Fi receiver.

When Explorer production starts this winter, the SUV will pick up the Wi-Fi routers’ signals, and an assembly-line worker will push a button to download software onto the Explorer, said Alan Hall, Ford Motor Co.’s technology communications manager.

The software is tailored for each model, so that the Explorer sold in the United States will have traffic information about American roadways; English, Spanish and French speaking options, and the appropriate 911 emergency delivery. Vehicles sold in other markets would get other language downloads, such as German, Portuguese, Italian and Mandarin.

The first Ford assembly plant to use the Wi-Fi technology is one in Oakville, Ontario, where the 2011 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX are manufactured.

The Wi-Fi setup saves money because it eliminates the need to build, stock and store a variety of hardware modules, said Sukhwinder Wadhwa, the global platform manager for Ford’s SYNC features. The SYNC controls such capabilities as traffic alerts, hands-free calling, 911 assistance and music search.

The Wi-Fi capability will have no effect on the number of jobs at the Ford plant, Hall said. The plant has received more than 2,000 applications for the previously announced 400 to 600 new jobs to build the Explorer.

In the future, car shoppers might be able to select their own software applications at the dealership and get those apps downloaded either at the dealership or through their home Wi-Fi system, Hall said.

“The built-in Wi-Fi receiver opens up all kinds of potential to deliver unique software into the vehicle,” he said.


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