Just a few days before its expected to make a technology-related announcement and show off the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, Ford has announced plans to expand its SYNC AppLink feature to 3.4 million vehicles currently on the road.
You see, some 2010 and 2011-2012 model year vehicles produced by the Ford Motor Company were equipped with SYNC but were not equipped with SYNC AppLink, which is a piece of software that runs “between” (links) SYNC and the mobile device and allows users to seamlessly control smartphone applications using the car’s voice commands and hardware controls on the steering wheel or the center stack. With this announcement, Ford will enable owners of 2010 and newer SYNC-equipped vehicles (but without SYNC AppLink) to download and install AppLink “later this year”.
Notably, only about 1 million FoMoCo vehicles on the road were equipped with the AppLink before this announcement; now, over 4.4 million will be capable of running it. Additionally, SYNC AppLink is capable of controlling 60 smartphone mobile apps on Apple iOS and Google Android devices as of this writing. And since Ford has created an open developer program (actually being the first automaker to do so), developers are able to make their apps compatible with AppLink, thereby allowing Ford to add even more AppLink-compatible apps in the future.
Ford is expected to make additional technology- and/or infotainment-related announcements at CES, and we can’t wait to find out what those are.
The Motrolix Take
Expanding the potential amount of vehicles capable of downloading, installing, and running AppLink is most definitely a great move for Ford for various reasons. For starters, a larger potential user base of SYNC AppLink is likely to attract more developers to make their apps compatible with the software. In that regard, we can’t think of a faster way to expand AppLink’s user base than to offer existing vehicles owners the newfound ability to run the software. Secondly, owners of vehicles that were previously not compatible with AppLink will likely be pleasantly surprised by the newfound compatibility, which we imagine will improve customer satisfaction. Looks like the development is a win-win for everyone.