As announced via an official blog post, Ford has decided to provide most of its vehicles manufactured in the previous year — a major boost. The American automobile giant is pushing out Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay support to its 2016-model vehicles with the help of its existing SYNC 3 infotainment software.
Any Ford 2016-model vehicle owners, if you’re reading this, the free update can be installed using three different options — you can either drive down to your nearest dealer and get the latest software installed, download the new software onto a USB stick and plug it into the SYNC3 system to install or finally make a first-time use of the company’s Wi-Fi to download and install the update in the vehicle itself. This is possible on 2016-models, where the SYNC 3 system is running on version 2.2 or higher.
As for the Wi-Fi update feature, you will have to navigate to the settings menu and activate the Automatic System Updates option. Then your Ford vehicle will periodically connect to the designated WI-Fi network (which means the one whose settings are saved within the vehicle’s settings) to check for updates. If any update becomes available then the SYNC system will download and install the update in the background.
If any update becomes available then the SYNC system will download and install the update in the background. Also, this feature does not require you to keep the vehicle running when the update is being downloaded. As long as the system is connected to the Wi-Fi, the update process will keep running in the background.
Talking about the update process, Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services in a statement said:
Our SYNC 3 software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements. With over-the-air updates, we can deliver new features to customers in the background while they continue using their vehicles.
As for the compatibility, the blog post mentions that Android Auto is supported for smartphones running Android 5.0 and higher whereas CarPlay requires you to own iPhone 5 and later models running iOS 7.1 or higher. Both of the operating systems provide any Ford’s owner with an intuitive user interface with simplified voice controls, calling/messaging features, navigation, and other third-party apps. Android Auto brings along the beautiful material design and the search giant’s proprietary apps — Google Maps, Google Play Music, and others to your vehicle.
Ford has already made the two competing automotive operating systems available to every owner of the company’s 2017 models. It spans across the smallest Ford Fiesta to other vehicles such as the Escape, Explorer, and Expedition. The American auto giant has even made the same available within its F-Series trucks and electric vehicles. It is now also looking to bring Amazon Alexa into the vehicle’s dashboard.