Ford is updating numerous 2016 mannequin 12 months vehicles outfitted with SYNC three infotainment software program, including Android Auto and CarPlay to the autos with a free, over-the-air replace by way of Wi-Fi, or utilizing both USB or going by means of their vendor. The improve shall be obtainable for round 800,000 autos in complete, giving an enormous variety of Ford automobile house owners the prospect to get massive infotainment enhancements with out having to purchase a more recent mannequin automobile.
The OTA replace choice can also be an enormous step for Ford – it’s the corporate’s first for software program, and it’s one of many main causes that Ford lately hired around 400 new mobile smartphone engineers, the corporate tells me.
For CarPlay, customers will nonetheless additionally must improve their car’s USB hub to make this work (which may even incur a vendor go to and a value), however for these on Android, all that’s required is a straightforward software program set up. The USB set up methodology can also be quicker, however the Wi-Fi replace choice is the beginning of the corporate’s efforts to essentially 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 appears like a worthwhile factor for 2016 car house owners to do. CarPlay and Android Auto are big 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 sometimes use these sorts of issues as incentives to get folks fascinated by car mannequin updates. However as knowledge turns into more and more vital to automakers as a enterprise, it is smart to encourage higher in-car use of units.