Model-year 2010 and newer SYNC systems get new functionality in 2014
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With CES just around the corner, Ford's let the news slip that its latest Sync system update will be coming to millions more vehicles this year.
Today, Ford announced that its latest Sync AppLink software is coming to cars dating all the way back to model-year 2010. While a specific launch date hasn't been pegged down yet, and a list of specific cars isn't available, Ford says that the update will be made available "later this year."
Sync AppLink is Ford's system that connects smartphone apps to Sync's voice command system. Currently, Ford supports 60 apps, including NPR, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
While Ford was a frontrunner when it partnered with Microsoft in 2007 for its SYNC infotainment systems, we get the feeling that a rapid change of the competitive landscape is nigh. With Audi possibly shacking up with tech titan Google for in-car Android infotainment, and Apple's iOS in the Car making its way soon to Honda and Acura vehicles, Ford has its work cut out for it.
Already, improvements are apparent. Last year, we drove two vehicles with Ford SYNC: a 2012 Ford Flex, which used an older iteration of Sync and the updated 2014 Ford Fiesta. The improvements were immediately apparent: the Fiesta (with MyFord Touch) was responsive and quick, while the system in the Flex stuttered and crashed—things you don't want happening when rocking out to tunes or following turn-by-turn directions.
The slow cycle of automotive development and the breakneck pace of computer software iteration will continue to collide in interesting ways in 2014. Check back next week for our automotive coverage when we hit the show floor for CES 2014 and keep an eye out for our official Editors' Choice awards, highlighting the best in tech from CES 2014.