Car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, this week launched the first ever application third-party developer program for voice-activated experiences inside its cars. The Ford Developer Program was announced on Monday at the 2013 International CES conference in Las Vegas.
Utilizing the sync connectivity system and the SYNC AppLink application programming interface (API), Ford is the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program that enables software developers to create apps that directly interface with the manufacture’s vehicles.
SYNC AppLink works with most of the latest Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone devices, and is compatible with mobile applications such as Radio, Amazon MP3, iHeartAuto, NPR News, Pandora Internet radio, Rhapsody, and Stitcher. At present, AppLink is installed in 2013 Ford automobiles, including the C-MAX, Focus, Fusion, F-Series, and Mustang.
SYNC AppLink uses voice-activated technology to build a hands-free bridge between drivers and their smart phone applications. The Developer Program will make Ford’s Software Development Kit (SDK), documentation and technical support systems available to third-party developers to try out and build related apps. Ford has been in a beta test with a group of invited developers as they work out the details of the SDK.
The SDK contains code libraries and documentation for the APIs that enable two-way communication between mobile apps and vehicles, including voice commands from the driver. Existing apps using Ford AppLink include the Wall Street Journal interactive app, Amazon Cloud Player, the music streaming apps, Rhapsody and Kaliki, and navigation and location apps like Glympse.