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