—Ford went to the CTIA convention here to announce the launch of a software developers kit (SDK) that will enable app developers to modify BlackBerry and Android smartphone apps so they can be controlled via voice through Ford’s first- and second-generation Sync systems.
The apps would use Bluetooth to connect the phones to Ford’s Sync system.
The development promises to expand the number of Synccontrolled smartphone apps, which are currently limited to Stitcher’s Internet news and podcast app, OpenBeak’s Twitter- streaming app with text-to-voice conversion, and Pandora’s Internet music service, which delivers cellular-streamed music programming to a Sync-enable factory sound system via stereo Bluetooth.
“More and more drivers will find a way to use their devices and their apps while in the car,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group VP for global product development, during a keynote speech here. “They can do it unsafely, or they can do it through safer voice-activated solutions such as Ford Sync.
Sync, launched in October 2007, delivers voice control over a vehicle’s entertainment systems, Bluetooth-connected cellphones for hands-free calling, and USB-connected MP3 players. Second-generation Sync systems extend voice control to additional functions, including climate-control functions, add multiple other features, and power the automaker’s MyFord Touch system of user controls.