Ford SYNC and AppLink for Android set to expand globally

Back during CES 2012 we got a real good look at all the things Ford was doing with their Sync service including the deep integration with Android and AppLink. Having put it all to the test in the U.S. Ford has now announced they'll be expanding the offerings globally with the introduction of the services to Asia.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe.

To help expand the offerings, Ford will be working with developers locally to create localized content using the SYNC Developer SDK. On hand at Computex 2012, Ford will be hosting a hackathon with Ford engineers to help developers started on integration applications and more. The full press release from Ford is available below.

Ford Announces SYNC AppLink Coming to Asia, Giving Customers Voice Control of Smart Phone Apps

  • Ford customers in Asia will be able to access and operate smart phone apps by voice with the introduction of SYNC AppLink to Ford vehicles
  • AppLink will be available to Ford customers as part of the SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system
  • Ford seeking partners in local markets and globally to work on making existing smart phone apps SYNC AppLink-compatible

TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 4, 2012 – Ford Motor Company today announced that AppLink, a feature which gives drivers voice control of smart phone apps, will be introduced in markets across Asia Pacific and Africa as part of its voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC.

Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe, revealed the latest innovation from Ford at Computex 2012, in Taipei.

“AppLink is an exciting addition to our class-leading SYNC system, giving Ford customers access to even more services via voice control,” said Pleet.

“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” he said.

AppLink is a feature of SYNC, and also the only system in the auto industry that can control smartphone apps via voice control. AppLink can access mobile apps on Android,  BlackBerry, and iOS smartphones.

AppLink currently enables customers in the U.S. to access leading apps including:

  • TuneIn radio – offering access to over 50,000 radio stations around the world
  • Stitcher – an app for streamlining radio shows and podcasts directly from smartphones
  • Pandora – personalized internet radio service
  • OpenBeak – allows users to have Twitter updates read out to them
  • iHeartRadio – delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: live broadcast and digital-only radio stations, plus user-created Custom Stations
  • NPR News – the latest from NPR (National Public Radio), including newscasts, station streams from around the country, favourite public radio programs, coverage organised by topics, and the ability to create custom playlists
  • SYNC Destinations – a free app that delivers quick, on-the-go access to the latest traffic reports, travel times and traffic forecasts. Ford owners also can use the app to easily send future destinations from their phone to their car for simple, voice-controlled navigation on the road
  • Slacker Radio – Listen to over 150 expert-programmed, personalized radio stations, featuring music, ESPN Radio, ABC News, Comedy and more!
  • Scout by Telenav – a daily personal navigator that allows drivers to easily and efficiently navigate their commutes, run errands, and discover places around them

During Computex 2012, Ford will demonstrate some of the features of AppLink, including TuneIn Radio. It will also showcase the efforts from a 24-hour “Facebook Hackathon” earlier this year where Ford and Facebook engineers got together to find ways to socialize the car, for example, by searching for restaurants that a friend has “liked,” or automatically checking in to your location once you park your car. Details of the event can be found here.

SYNC AppLink will deliver similar functionality and benefits to SYNC customers in Asia that it already does for Ford customers in North America, where it is currently available on 10 Ford vehicle models.

Ford aims to deliver an integrated experience with smartphone applications and the vehicle including app control through voice and vehicle switches as well as the ability for the app to display information to the vehicle’s display. This integration occurs through Ford’s renowned Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows smartphone app developers to modify existing apps to work hands-free using voice recognition through SYNC.

The SDK release has helped Ford to forge a more open and collaborative bond with the wireless, consumer electronics and app developer communities to create a safer and smarter in-car connectivity experience that leverages the mobile devices customers own and love.

Developers can contact Ford via its SYNC Developer website (

# # #

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit

  • Love my Ford Sync, but sad that they don't update previous models with the newer features.
  • I have the exact same issue. My 2011 Ford Edge can do everything, but it can't get applink? What gives? I think it's time for Ford to reward it's loyal customers and simply provide an upgrade.