Ford Launches Program That Provides Developers Ability to Create Vehicle-Controlled, Voice-Activated Smartphone Apps

Janet Wagner, Data Journalist / Full Stack Developer
Jan. 10 2013, 09:00AM EST

Ford has announced the launch of the Ford Developer Program which provides developers the ability to integrate the SYNC connectivity system and AppLink API into smartphone applications.

Ford Developer Program

Image Credit: Ford Developer Program Site

SYNC AppLink is a vehicle-controlled, voice-activated technology available on a limited number of Ford vehicles that makes it possible for smartphone applications to be accessed and used via voice commands. The Ford Developer Program makes it possible for developers to create voice-enabled smartphone applications that offer hands-free access for users of specific Ford Vehicles.

Ford introduced the SYNC connectivity system back in 2007 and ProgrammableWeb reported the announcement by Ford in December 2009 that the company intended on "joining millions of its customers in embracing the app marketplace."

Ford has created partnerships with several organizations including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Rhapsody so that voice-activated versions of their apps can be offered to SYNC AppLink users.

Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink, states for the press release that:

"Our focus is to enhance the driving experience by minimizing the distractions caused by hand-held usage of smartphones while driving. We know consumers are using apps such as music and navigation while driving; therefore, by making AppLink available to developers, we can help ensure relevant apps can now be voice-controlled."

Smartphone developers interested in integrating AppLink into their applications can register at the Ford Developer Program website. If you are interested in finding out which Ford vehicles have AppLink, visit the Ford Support site for a complete list.

Janet Wagner is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, data visualization, machine learning, and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter: @webcodepro, Google+, or send her an email.

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