You've probably heard the old joke about how Ford is an acronym for "Found on Road Dead." Well, the Detroit automaker on Monday announced a new and much better way to help you find your parked vehicle, as well as a whole host of other features—just use your smartphone.
Ford is upgrading its Sync connectivity system to allow both Android and iPhone users easy integration between their smartphones and their car. With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, drivers can make calls, check messages or email, play media, access apps, and more without taking their eyes off the road.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer very similar experiences. Essentially, it just comes down the details: iTunes vs. Google Play, Siri vs. OK Google, etc. The SYNC feature requires iPhone 5 or higher, or Android 5.0 or higher.
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Ford has also expanded its AppLink feature that lets drivers control apps with their voice by adding real-time vehicle data, such as GPS location or mileage, to enhance their performance and usefulness. So, getting back to the beginning, you can use SYNC's 4G LTE integration to remotely access your car and use its GPS coordinates to find out where exactly you parked the damned thing. No more wandering around a giant parking lot looking for your car while some cretin who wants your spot lurks behind.
The 4G LTE integration will also allow you to start your car remotely, lock or unlock it, or check your fuel level, all from your phone.
Five apps will have access to your vehicle's info to start. The AAA app (CAA in Canada) will help users check fuel prices in the area and offers a route planning function. Cityseeker and Eventseeker will show the user nearby restaurants/bars/clubs or music artists in the area, respectively. And Concur gives drivers the ability to set their ride as a business trip. The car logs this information, making it easier to compile for businesses or come tax time. Chinese motorists will also have access to Tencent QQ messenger.
All of Ford's 2017 models equipped with SYNC will have the latest version and be ready to use once you hit the road. An upgrade is coming for 2016 models that have SYNC 3 installed.