Ford Sync AppLink Lets You Launch, Control Apps by Voice

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Ford and Microsoft’s Sync platform for interactive automobile dash consoles is already very smartphone-friendly, letting you use your phone’s mobile data connection to provide your car with up-to-date mapping and route info, and using both speech-to-text and text-to-speech for hands-free access. The voice command segment of Sync is getting an upgrade, as AppLink is going to start allowing you to launch and control apps through spoken commands.

In a well-appreciated gesture of inclusiveness, AppLink debuts with support for iOS, BlackBerry, and Android devices; oddly, no WP7 love. The software on the car end of things needs to be installed over a USB drive, after which you’ll be ready to start talking to your apps. Those that take advantage of AppLink seem to need special support coded into them, as only a few compatible apps have been announced. At least one of the launch apps is Pandora, which will give you a nice alternative to your car’s selection of radio stations.

At first just Ford’s 2011 Focus will have AppLink, but you should expect to see it in future Sync-enabled vehicles as well. Ford is going to be showing off the system at the CES, so look for word of more compatible cars then.

Source: The Independent

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!