Ford is updating a lot of 2016 mannequin yr vehicles outfitted with SYNC three infotainment software program, including Android Auto and CarPlay to the automobiles with a free, over-the-air replace by way of Wi-Fi, or utilizing both USB or going by their seller. The improve can be accessible for round 800,000 automobiles in complete, giving an enormous variety of Ford automotive house owners the possibility to get massive infotainment enhancements with out having to purchase a more recent mannequin automotive.
The OTA replace possibility can also be an enormous step for Ford – it’s the corporate’s first for software program, and it’s one of many main causes that Ford lately hired around 400 new mobile smartphone engineers, the corporate tells me.
For CarPlay, customers will nonetheless additionally must improve their automobile’s USB hub to make this work (which can even incur a seller go to and a value), however for these on Android, all that’s required is an easy software program set up. The USB set up technique can also be quicker, however the Wi-Fi replace possibility is the beginning of the corporate’s efforts to actually enhance its OTA replace program, which can be used for safety enhancements in addition to infotainment bumps.
Even with a seller go to and improve for CarPlay, this seems like a worthwhile factor for 2016 automobile house owners to do. CarPlay and Android Auto are large upgrades vs. most in-car software program, providing navigation and leisure choices that observe you out of your cellphone to your automotive.
Retroactively providing this sort of factor to automotive house owners is a particular change in tone for automotive makers, since they sometimes use these sorts of issues as incentives to get individuals inquisitive about automobile mannequin updates. However as knowledge turns into more and more essential to automakers as a enterprise, it is sensible to encourage higher in-car use of units.