Not content to let Chevy hog the in-car app spotlight at CES, Ford has announced nine new apps that will be compatible with its in-car Sync AppLink system. That brings the total up to 19, and all indications are pointing toward that number going up dramatically in the near future.
The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Kaliki, Amazon Cloud Player, Aha Radio, Rhapsody, Greater Media, Glympse, and BeCouply will all be bringing apps to Sync AppLink this year. These won’t actually be applications downloaded to your car – at least not yet. The apps must be downloaded and opened on a smartphone. After that, Sync AppLink will handle communication between your phone and your car, opening up the AppLink-specific parts of the app. When the apps are running through the car, they’ll be very much audio-based – news apps will read news stories aloud, music apps will play music, and navigation apps will offer directions. For those in China, SINA will be bringing its Weibo service to Sync AppLink, too.
Now, to the future. Ford is releasing an SDK for the Sync AppLink system, which means it’ll be open season for developers to create new apps for use with the AppLink system. Ford will have a tight hold on the approval process, in large part to ensure that the finished products don’t end up adding dramatically to distracted driving. Sync AppLink, as of now, only works with iOS and Android devices.
UPDATE: Since the app platform has been open, Ford have experienced so many sign ups that their site crashed. They can’t reveal how many numbers at the moment, but it will be interesting to watch what comes out of this program.