Ford Launches Open App Development Program For Sync

By Lisa Johnston On Jan 8 2013 - 5:02pm

Julius Marchwicki, global product manager, AppLink Connected Services Solutions
Julius Marchwicki, global product manager, AppLink Connected Services Solutions


LAS VEGAS — Ford called on developers to help enhance its Sync service by launching an open mobile app development program for AppLink.

During its International CES press conference, here, on Monday the Ford Developer Program, which can be found at Developer.Ford.com, was unveiled.

It provides a software development kit, documentation, sample code, test procedures, tips, an online forum and tech support. Developers who don’t own a Ford Sync system can purchase a technology development kit.

Apps that make it through the initial round of approval will be extensively tested for AppLink at no cost to the developer, said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager, AppLink Connected Services Solutions. (Ford does note on the site: “It is important that your app pass Ford testing in the initial submission because any subsequent submissions to retest a failed app most likely will incur a fee.”)

Developers will be able to request distribution rights for their apps. Working with the Ford Developer Program will prevent them from being forced to learn multiple automotive platforms, Marchwicki said. Hau Thai-Tang, engineering VP of Ford Motor Company, noted that there will be more than 1 million AppLink-enabled cars in the world this year.  

Ford also used the press conference to introduce nine new partners for AppLink: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kaliki, Rhapsody, Amazon Cloud Player, Aha Radio, Greater Media, Glympse and BeCouply.

During the presentation, Becky Cruze and Pius Uzamere, a “real life” couple and the creators of BeCouply, came out in support of Ford’s program. Cruze and Uzamere won the Ford Sync AppLink Developer Challenge at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, and were invited to develop an AppLink-enabled beta version of BeCouply, an app that provides such advice as restaurant suggestions for couples going on dates.

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