Ford SYNC with AppLink
Ford Motor Company has unveiled a slew of new apps at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin that can be availed via its in-car connectivity mechanism, Ford SYNC with AppLink.
TomTom navigation and room booking service, Hotels.com, rank among the brands to merge apps into Ford SYNC with AppLink, which allow drivers to voice-activate apps from behind the wheel. The system will also offer apps from Audioteka, DIE WELT, ADAC, Eventseeker and Cityseeker by Wcities, Autoread and AskWiki apps from Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories.
The new apps expand a growing catalogue including leading music streaming service Spotify; the Kaliki audio newsstand app; Glympse, which allows Ford drivers to share their location with family and friends through voice control; and Aha, which uses the cloud to enable Internet-based entertainment and information, legally and safely.
“Ford SYNC AppLink delivers exciting capability for drivers integrating their devices and apps they know and love into their car,” said Ed Pleet, director, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa Connected Services. “Drivers will soon be able to control music, information and audiobooks; voice-activate navigation, find parking spaces and even reserve hotel rooms on their way to their destination all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
Ford is also motivating app developers to develop their own SYNC with Applink voice-control apps for connected smartphones, having launched the automotive industry’s maiden open mobile app developer programme at the International CES in Las Vegas.
Future app development will benefit from the collaboration of Ford and Deutsche Telekom to leverage Ford’s Applink Software Development Kit (SDK) and Deutsche Telekom’s Developer Garden’s applications hub to pave the way for development of new apps and opportunities.
To aid the SYNC Applink feature, an App Catalog is being introduced in Europe. This enables smartphone owners to identify SYNC Applink-compatible apps, filtering search results based on the location of the user. The Catalog prompts consumers to mavigate the site by category to get in touch information on service features, voice commands and even user ratings.
The new Ford EcoSport SUV will be among the maiden Ford vehicles in Europe to offer Ford SYNC with AppLink close to the heels of a successful launch in North America, where more than one million Ford vehicles including the US Ford Fusion and Ford Fiesta are already equipped with the system.
The new range of apps unveiled at IFA are:
- TomTom – offering voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation
- The app gives access to the same Offline Maps, technology and world-class traffic information as on TomTom’s GPS devices
- Audioteka – enabling users to download and listen to audiobooks from a “virtual shelf” on the move. Users can select an audiobook to listen to, skip forward and back, and set bookmarks from the dashboard
- Hotels.com – enabling booking of rooms at more than 220,000 hotels worldwide. The app allows drivers to find local hotels and directly connect to the reservation office
- Cityseeker by Wcities – delivering comprehensive city guides. Offers the ability to search points-of-interest by theme, lifestyle, location and activate GPS city tours.
- Eventseeker by Wcities – users will be able to get up-to-the-minute event information and search by events, location, and category. Personalised and recommended events are also provided to the end user based on their likes and interests
- Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories Autoread – able to stream podcasts and read-aloud text messages, e-mails and news on demand
- Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories AskWiki – delivering information on-demand using Google Speech Recognizer technology and database of online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, to answer questions
Ford SYNC with AppLink
Developer Garden (www.developergarden.com) acts as the developer world of Deutsche Telekom. It enjoys the status as the main bastion of software developers and business partners to easily access core services. Developer Garden extends a broad product portfolio of software components, web services and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for smart and efficient software development. Built on a network of strong global alliances, Developer Garden addresses the world-wide software development community.
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