Ford updates its 2016 vehicles to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Enlarge Image This is Ford's first Wi Fi OTA update. Fancy!                  Ford
Enlarge Image This is Ford's first Wi Fi OTA update. Fancy! Ford
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20 May, 2017

The latest upgrade to Sync 3, Ford's interactive touch-screen system, will be accomplished through an over-the-air (OTA) update using Wi-Fi, not unlike how new software gets uploaded to smartphones by manufacturers.

While the new integrations will undoubtedly be welcomed by 2016 Ford owners, they're not the real news here.

Those equipped with the Sync 3 platform will begin to receive the smartphone-friendly tools via a simpl software update.

Owners will have the option to update by visiting a dealership, downloading an install file to a USB drive, or applying the software upgrade through a home WiFi network.

Retroactively offering this kind of thing to auto owners is a definite change in tone for auto makers, since they typically use these kinds of things as incentives to get people interested in vehicle model updates.

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Android, Android Auto, Google Maps and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc. If it does not have Wi-Fi hardware, you can go to Ford's website on your PC and download the update to a USB Flash drive, and then plug in that drive in your auto to install the software. This marks the first time that Ford will enable one of its updates to be applied via WiFi. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control.

Ford is offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software to many of its customers who missed out on the technology. If an update is available, the system automatically downloads the update in the background over a period of time without any customer interaction.

Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later models running at least iOS 7.1.

In total, 800,000 vehicles are eligible for the update, which is being called a giant step for Ford, which recently hired 400 engineers to work on its connected auto initiative.


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