BARCELONA, Spain – Ford today announced an open call for mobile application developers to register for the Ford Developer Program, an automotive industry first that enables software developers to directly interface with the Ford SYNC AppLink system to create apps that will enhance the driving experience.
Ford SYNC AppLink enables customers to control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat as part of Ford SYNC, the voice-activated in-car connectivity system. More than 2,500 developers have already registered for the Ford Developer Program after it was first announced at last month’s 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in the U.S.
“The Ford Developer Program is a key to the success of SYNC AppLink in Europe,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. “More than three million Ford vehicles in Europe will be equipped with Ford SYNC by 2015, and AppLink can help developers maximise the reach of their smartphone app products and services.”
The Ford Developer Program provides all the information and tools developers need to create relevant, voice-activated, in-car experiences; and successful applicants will join the leading smartphone app service providers already confirmed as Ford AppLink partners in Europe – music-streaming service Spotify, Kaliki Audio Newsstand, real-time location sharing service Glympse, and audio entertainment and information provider Aha.
After registering at developer.ford.com
, developers will be able to download the AppLink software development kit. The kit contains code libraries and documentation for the application programming interfaces that enable two-way communication between mobile apps and the vehicle, including driver voice commands. Ford engineers will provide technical support and developers will be able to access and participate in online discussion forums.
Developer-created apps are submitted to Ford for review by Ford engineers to ensure they work properly and are suitable for use in the vehicle. Ford then works with the developer to provide a distribution license before the app is submitted to the relevant marketplace.
Ford also plans to announce a European recommended mobile app development house to provide further development and technical support to third-party developers as well as a catalogue app that allows AppLink-enabled apps to be discovered by Ford customers.
“While we’ve been customer focused for over 110 years, at CES 2013 we announced we wanted to be developer focused as well. The number of developer.ford.com
registrations over the last month highlights the mobile app development community understands that message and is excited about coming on board,” added Mascarenas.