Ford announces SDK to access in-car controls

Ford announces SDK to access in-car controls

By | January 9th, 2013
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Ford has announced that developers will now be able to develop mobile apps

that can be enabled to access in-car controls and interact with the user

primarily through voice commands. The new SYNC Applink platform SDK is now

available for download after developers register themselves at the ford



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In a first ever move within the automobile industry, Ford has now launched an open mobile app developer program for Android and iOS developers who will now be able to submit apps for the SYNC Applink platform. SYNC Applink is a new feature that allows access to mobile apps mainly with the help of voice interactions and minor visual feedback. The ford website states that this feature will be available in cars like the 2013 Fiesta and Mustang; 2012 Expedition, Fusion, F-150 and Super Duty. It is also “coming soon” on the 2013 Focus, E-Series and C-MAX.

According to the press release, the SDK is already available on the Ford developer website. Those who are interested can register at to download the AppLink SDK. As of now more than three dozen Applink compatible apps are already available on Android and iOS. “Since launching AppLink, we’ve worked with developers ranging from a two-man startup at Roximity to large organizations like National Public Radio and Major League Baseball,” said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink.

Due to safety and liability concerns within the automobiles, each app will need to go through Ford’s approval process and only then it will get a license to distribute the app. This will involve several laid down preconditions that no app will be allowed to show video, lengthy text and excessive visual information. Besides, games are a strict no-no too. In general, the overall guideline is to minimize the distraction of the driver from the app itself and allow a seamless non intrusive interface where the functionality being provided by the app “just works”.“Our focus is to enhance the driving experience by minimizing the distractions caused by hand-held usage of smartphones while driving,” added Marchwicki. “We know consumers are using apps such as music and navigation while driving; therefore, by making AppLink available to developers, we can help ensure relevant apps can now be voice-controlled.”

Ford will be providing support in the form on online forums and direct technical help from the Ford engineers. It has also chosen jacAPPS, a Michigan based company, to provide technical and development support to third party developers. In sync with this announcement at CES 2013, popular mobile apps like Glympse, Amazon Cloud Player, Wall Street Journal etc., also announced their support for the Ford Applink platform.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet: