– The all-new Ford AppLink Mobile Applications Catalog is coming to Europe to support the SYNC AppLink feature, Ford announced today at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.
The App Catalog is an innovative solution from Ford that allows smartphone owners to easily identify apps that can be voice-activated using the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system’s AppLink feature, which enables voice-control of smartphone apps from the driver’s seat.
Launching in Europe, the App Catalog will filter search results based on the location of the user and will be available in six languages; English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin.
Consumers can browse by category and find information on service features, voice commands and even user ratings. Ford has confirmed at IFA that SYNC AppLink partners in Europe will include TomTom navigation, Audioteka audiobooks, Hotels.com hotel information, ADAC parking, Eventseeker and Cityseeker by Wcities, DIE WELT, as well as Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories AutoRead and AskWiki news and information – in addition to previously announced European partners Spotify, Kaliki, Glympse and Aha.
Ford is also encouraging app developers to create their own SYNC with AppLink voice-control apps for connected smartphones, having launched the automotive industry’s first open mobile app developer program for AppLink at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas.
“With a growing number of new AppLink-enabled apps and the success of the Ford Developer Program, we want to offer an easy way for customers to quickly find AppLink-compatible apps”, said Ed Pleet, director, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa Connected Services. “The App Catalog isn’t only going to help customers, it also will help developers maximise the visibility of their AppLink-compatible services – including those developed with the Ford Developer Program.”
The Ford Developer Program
was recently extended to Africa and Asia Pacific markets where Ford has announced a strategic partnership with Baidu, the world’s largest Chinese language search engine, to work on combining AppLink and Baidu apps to deliver an enhanced app experience for customers.
Ford earlier this year announced that the next generation of AppLink – AppLink 2.0 – will expand the platform by allowing greater communication between smartphone apps and AppLink-equipped vehicles.
AppLink 2.0 will give developers new and unprecedented capabilities, including:
In-vehicle notifications: Developers will be able to send “push” notifications to drivers through vehicle audio systems and displays, similar to users’ experiences on their smartphones
Voice pass-through: Offers the ability for app developers to take advantage of increasingly popular cloud-based voice-activated services for in-app experiences
Vehicle data access: Access to vehicle data through AppLink allows developers – with customer consent – to take advantage of the rich data available from vehicle sensors
Ford provided and open-sourced AppLink to the GENIVI
Alliance – the consortium committed to driving the broad adoption of an in-vehicle infotainment open-source development platform – as the foundation for SmartDeviceLink. Ford’s goal is for the SmartDeviceLink to become an industry wide, global standard for enabling smartphone apps to integrate with cars.
The new Ford EcoSport compact SUV will be among the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer AppLink as part of the Ford SYNC voice-activated connectivity system.