One of Ford Motor Company’s [NYSE:F] announcements for the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show starting Wednesday is an updated version of its Sync 3 infotainment system. We’re not quite at the Sync 4 stage just yet but there are still quite a few changes being made with this update.
Owners of Apple and Android-based smartphones will be happy to note that both the CarPlay and Android Auto integration systems are now featured. It means you can access all of your phone’s apps and features via the car’s controls.
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There’s also 4G LTE. The high-speed connectivity feature has allowed Ford engineers to develop a feature called SYNC Connect. This allows you to remotely access your car using a smartphone and control some vehicle functions such as starting the engine, unlocking the doors, checking the fuel level and locating where you parked in case you forget.
Ford has also announced a new range of apps for its own AppLink smartphone integration feature. AppLink allows you to control apps on your phone from the behind the wheel using voice activation as well as steering wheel-mounted controls. Some of the new apps include AAA member services, Concur expense report tracking and Eventseeker/Cityseeker to find nearby music, restaurants and other entertainment services.
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Finally, Ford is further enhancing AppLink capabilities for developers. They will be able to integrate a new Send Location feature that will allow their app to send destination info directly to the vehicle's navigation system to provide seamless operation without the user having to touch his or her phone. One of the first apps with this feature included is Glympse. The vehicle automatically recognizes if a driver is sharing a location via the app and will ask if the driver would like to be routed to that destination.
The latest version of the Sync 3 infotainment system will start rolling out on 2017 model year vehicles. Owners of 2016 vehicles equipped with the current Sync 3 system will have an opportunity to upgrade later in the year.
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