Ford is updating a lot of 2016 mannequin yr automobiles geared up with SYNC three infotainment software program, including Android Auto and CarPlay to the automobiles with a free, over-the-air replace through Wi-Fi, or utilizing both USB or going by means of their vendor. The improve shall be accessible for round 800,000 automobiles in whole, giving an enormous variety of Ford automobile house owners the prospect to get large infotainment enhancements with out having to purchase a more recent mannequin automobile.
The OTA replace choice can be a giant step for Ford – it’s the corporate’s first for software program, and it’s one of many main causes that Ford not too long ago hired around 400 new mobile smartphone engineers, the corporate tells me.
For CarPlay, customers will nonetheless additionally have to improve their car’s USB hub to make this work (which will even incur a vendor go to and a value), however for these on Android, all that’s required is an easy software program set up. The USB set up technique can be quicker, however the Wi-Fi replace choice is the beginning of the corporate’s efforts to actually enhance its OTA replace program, which shall be used for safety enhancements in addition to infotainment bumps.
Even with a vendor go to and improve for CarPlay, this seems like a worthwhile factor for 2016 car house owners to do. CarPlay and Android Auto are large upgrades vs. most in-car software program, providing navigation and leisure choices that observe you out of your telephone to your automobile.
Retroactively providing this sort of factor to automobile house owners is a particular change in tone for automobile makers, since they usually use these sorts of issues as incentives to get individuals keen on car mannequin updates. However as knowledge turns into more and more vital to automakers as a enterprise, it is sensible to encourage better in-car use of units.