Ford brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its 2016 fleet

Ford brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its 2016 fleet

Ford Motor Co said on Friday it would delve into the growing arena of "over-the-air" software updates, adding Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its Sync 3-equipped 2016 vehicles for the first time via a wireless software update.

You can obtain the update in three ways: by downloading over the air for Wi-Fi-connected vehicles, by bringing your auto to a Ford dealership, or by downloading the update to a USB drive then manually plugging into the auto.

While you can take your vehicle to a dealer to do the update for you, that isn't necessary as there are a couple of DIY options ...

Meanwhile, if you have a Ford vehicle from the 2017 model year, or one of hundreds of other 2017 and 2016 model year cars from other automakers, you've already got Android Auto and CarPlay built in.

Retroactively offering this kind of thing to auto owners is a definite change in tone for auto makers, since they typically use these kinds of things as incentives to get people interested in vehicle model updates. The company is offering its customers several avenues to install the update in their Fords. Both infotainment services allow users to access smartphone features such as navigation, music, phone, and messaging through Sync 3. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control. Vehicles that have Wi-Fi and automatic system updates enabled within the Sync 3 system will automatically receive the update, Ford says.

Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later models running at least iOS 7.1. If any update becomes available then the SYNC system will download and install the update in the background. Ford says the update will work for as long as Wi-Fi is connected prior to the vehicle turning off, adding that you don't actually have to keep the auto running to install the new features.

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