We’ve seen Ford’s AppLink in action, which enables smartphone apps to make use of the in-car voice recognition system when paired up via Bluetooth, and today they’ve announced that the system will be rolling out to another 10 Sync vehicles: the 2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Fiesta, F-150, F-150 SVT Raptor, Super Duty, Expedition, E-Series, Shelby GT500, along with the 2012 Ford Mustang.
Sync is Ford’s on-dash system that lets you talk to your car so your hands are on the wheel and eyes on the road. Built within are a lot of smartphone functions that run over standard Bluetooth profiles, like initiating calls, or stereo music, but thanks to AppLink, developers can plug in to the car system too and offer a few new uses. For example, when listening to Pandora on iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry, you can just tap the voice command button the steering wheel and say “Favorite!” to mark a tune for future reference. OpenBeak, you can dictate tweets to send out while on the road. We can expect a lot more smartphoney stuff from Ford in the long term, as they’ve also used today’s announcement to mention that they’ve quadrupled the size of their connectivity team. Of course, Ford’s not alone in wanting to get cozy with smartphones; Chevrolet, BMW, Audi, and plenty of others are hopping on this bandwagon, and it promises to be an interesting ride.
I’m actually in Dearborn, Michigan right now at a Ford event, so expect a few more Ford stories tomorrow, including some new apps for Sync.