Ford SYNC

Ford’s SYNC just keeps getting better and better. Last week, the Blue Oval announced two major advancements for SYNC, designed to make the lauded in-car communication and entertainment system easier to use.

SYNC’s most important step forward is including iPhone capability. Previously usable only with RIM or Android operating systems, SYNC’s expansion to iPhone users will greatly increase the system’s accessibility among Ford’s customers. It also might be just enough to convince an iPhone user that a SYNC-equipped Ford or Lincoln is the right choice.

SYNC is also making progress with smart phone applications. Ford says that SYNC users can now control some applications using a hands-free, voice-operated system called AppLink – meaning drivers can stay focused on the road while still enjoying their apps. Although some apps can’t be voice-operated, Ford says that many can, including Pandora Internet radio, OpenBeak – which enables Twitter posting – and Stitcher news radio, with more to come.

“More and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services. “With AppLink, SYNC is a smarter solution for drivers who choose to use these apps while driving – making it the only connectivity system available the can extend app functionality to the car using both voice and steering wheel controls.”

The improved system is first available to drivers of SYNC-equipped Fiestas, who can download the upgrade at http://www.syncmyride.com, through the site’s Updated & Customize section. Ford says the upgrade can be stored on a USB storage device, then uploaded to a customer’s car in less than ten minutes using SYNC’s USB port. Ford also says that the upgrade will soon be available for all SYNC-equipped Fords and Lincolns.

“Where before users would pick up their phone, taking their eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel while driving to select a station and hit play, AppLink makes all of that functionality available through voice control, just like managing AM and FM radio or your MP3 player through SYNC,” said Julius Marchwicki, SYNC’s product manager.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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