Ford Readies Smartphone-Sync Link - Twice

Ford Readies Smartphone-Sync Link

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Dearborn, Mich. - The 2011 Ford Fiesta will be the first

Sync

-equipped vehicle from Ford to control select Android and BlackBerry smartphone apps, the company said.

The Fiesta will be available later this summer.

In calendar 2011, smartphone-app control will be available on all new Sync-equipped vehicles, and apps for the iPhone and other smartphones will become available that year as well, the company said.

Through the Fiesta's Sync system, drivers will be able to use voice commands or the Fiesta's control switches to control Sync-enabled apps residing on Bluetooth-connected smartphones. The first Sync-enabled apps -- Pandora's Internet music-streaming app, Stitcher's Internet news and podcast app, and OpenBeak's Twitter-streaming app with text-to-voice conversion -- will be available shortly after the Fiesta's launch for Android and BlackBerry phones. The apps, incorporating the Sync application programming interface (API), will be available through Android Market and BlackBerry App World for download.

On the Fiesta's 4-inch in-dash display, drivers will be able to view the names of all Sync-controllable apps residing on their smartphone, a spokesman said. To control the smartphone apps, Fiesta purchasers must first download AppLink software from Ford's Web site to a PC, side-load the software to a USB drive, and plug the USB drive into the Fiesta.

Ford is offering its API to third-party developers to create other Sync-controlled apps.

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