Ford Developer Program

Ford is going app crazy at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, introducing a bevy of new Sync-compatible apps and announcing that it is opening its AppLink code to developers. Taking a cue from the mobile-device industry, Ford is letting app developers get their hands on the company’s AppLink—Ford-speak for the basic code necessary for making iOS or Android apps compatible with the Sync infotainment system‘s voice and button controls. In even simpler terms, AppLink is the conduit that allows drivers to manipulate phone-based apps via Sync’s in-car controls—the apps themselves don’t actually “live” in the car’s hardware. 

By opening up AppLink to developers, Ford is hoping there will be a rush to introduce many more Sync-friendly apps. But it won’t be a complete free-for-all; Ford might be furnishing its code to the outside world, but the results still need to pass Ford muster. That means that all AppLink-compatible apps created or converted under the Ford Developer Program will need to successfully complete a review process before being approved for use in Sync-equipped vehicles. Developers need only to register with Ford to participate in the creative process; Ford provides the software developer kit with the necessary code, tech support, and access to a wider developer community.

As for the metric carload of newly Sync-compatible apps, here they are:

Wall Street Journal (live and on-demand radio content)
USA Today
(listen to articles and headlines; play, pause, skip, move within stories)
Kaliki (reads select newspaper and magazine articles aloud, subscription free)
Amazon Cloud Player (streams personal music collection from the cloud)
Aha Radio (on-demand music, internet radio, podcasts)
Rhapsody (on-demand music, internet radio)
Greater Media (live-stream radio)
Glympse (location-sharing)
BeCouply (date-night suggestion tool)

These apps join a library of other mobile-device-based apps like NPR, Pandora, and more that already can manipulated via Sync controls.

2013 Consumer Electronics Show full coverage

By Alexander Stoklosa

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