Latest in 2010

Image credit:

Ford to give Sync some App Store flavor, opening API to devs in 2010

Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Ford has already shown it can tie the controls of Sync-enabled vehicles to the music and contacts databases of drivers phones and PMPs and though it may take time before our emotions can be detected, the next step is extending that connectivity to downloadable apps on those devices. Since Sync first debuted, the explosion of the App Store concept has meant nearly every smartphone owner is packing plenty of ways to access and use information from the internet, but without an easy way to interact with it while driving. Extending access to vehicle controls could lead to programs like Pandora or Google's turn by turn navigation letting users change stations with their existing stereo knobs, or listen to directions via the in-car system by simply updating their existing software. The first ones to get a crack at it? A few university students, check after the break to see what they came up with given just a few weeks to test system out.

Gallery: Ford Sync API Demo | 4 Photos


We sat in on a demo of two apps produced by University of Michigan-Dearborn students called SYNCCast and FollowMe, simple iPhone programs that enabled listening to internet radio and navigation, respectively. While navigating a queue of radio stations on your iPhone could be tricky via its own touchscreen while driving, the students were able to make their program connect via Bluetooth to the car stereo, and allow the driver to pick a station using either voice commands or the existing stereo knobs. FollowMe addressed the problems of caravan driving, once both drivers activate the program, it guides the second car to find the first -- even though it runs completely on the iPhone, once the app is activated all communication and control is done through the car's headunit.

Other future possibilities devised by the students? Enabling apps to read RSS feeds or Twitter messages to the driver, all without taking eyes off the road for more than a moment. Of course, all of this means app developers may need to familiarize themselves with requirements of the in-car environment (pulling in video streams to the screen is fine, but once the car is in motion only video in the backseat can stay on) to meet manufacturer standards for safety as they will need to some additional approval before being released. With those wrinkles aside it seems like Ford's straightforward approach to enabling additional software will help keep its cars functionality up to date just as quickly as their drivers update their phones and/or the software on them.

Source: Ford
In this article: 2010, API, Apple, development, ford, iphone, sync
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Samsung's fix for Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanning will roll out soon

Samsung's fix for Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanning will roll out soon

View
Apple Pay is more popular than Starbucks for US mobile payments

Apple Pay is more popular than Starbucks for US mobile payments

View
Tesla turns a profit as it spins up trial production in Shanghai

Tesla turns a profit as it spins up trial production in Shanghai

View
Four new 'Adventure Time' specials are heading to HBO Max

Four new 'Adventure Time' specials are heading to HBO Max

View
Microsoft's cloud and LinkedIn grow steadily, while Surface falters

Microsoft's cloud and LinkedIn grow steadily, while Surface falters

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr