The Ford Sync car computing system is getting an upgrade as car maker announces today that it will allow drivers to control apps with voice commands.
The Ford Sync AppLink, first hinted at in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, is a downloadable software upgrade for BlackBerry and Android-based smartphones. The first Ford car that will use the AppLink is the 2011 Fiesta model, which debuts in the summer.
The first Sync-enabled apps are Pandora, Stitcher and OpenBeak.BlackBerry and Android phone users will be able to keep their eyes on the road as they speak commands that activate various phone-related apps.
Ford is also going to launch a Mobile Application Developer Network to make it easy to integrate Sync support into mobile apps. More than 2 million cars have the Sync system, less than a year after it hit the 1 million mark. Ford’s data shows that the system boosts the resale value of a vehicle by more than $200 over cars without it. And about 89 percent of Sync customers use the hands-free voice calling system, and half use the voice-activated features the most.