Ford Launches App Developer Program; Your Favorite Apps May Soon be Available from Behind the Wheel

Like it or not, the connected car is the way of the future. Many drivers already text, talk, check Facebook and tweet from behind the wheel, and with its Sync AppLink system, Ford hopes to help drivers stay connected safer. In an effort to increase the number of apps it has available in Sync AppLink, Ford announced at CES the auto industry’s first open mobile app development program, called the Ford Developer Program, making it easier for developers to create apps for drivers to use safely from behind the wheel.

AppLink Roximity 300x187 imageWith one in five admitting in a recent study to using apps while driving, Ford’s AppLink is designed to give drivers a way to use their favorite apps – like Pandora or NPR News – by voice command from behind the wheel. Ford hopes the App Developer Program will dramatically increase the number of apps compatible with Sync AppLink and get the attention of young car buyers who may consider inexpensive vehicles like the Fiesta or Focus.

Ford’s App Developer Program works similarly to those at Apple, Google, and Facebook – all of which the Ford program is modeled after. App developers will first register with Ford and download the AppLink Software Development Kit (SDK), which will then allow them to enable two-way communication between the app and the Sync system. Once finished, the app will be submitted to, and reviewed by Ford to make sure it not only works well, but is suitable for use behind the wheel. As the current app categories remain News and Information, Music and Entertainment, and Navigation and Location, that means drivers won’t be playing Angry Birds or using Skype from behind the wheel anytime soon.

Developers who need further help working out bugs can get tech support directly from Ford, or an online developer forum. Those who need further help, or just don’t have the time to integrate AppLink into their apps can turn to jacAPPS – the recommended mobile app development house for the program.

The Sync AppLink Ford Developer Program announcement comes right after Ford added new apps to the AppLink catalog, including Aha Radio, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Rhapsody.

What apps would you use from behind the wheel if they synced with your car?

Source: Ford

By Christian Seabaugh

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