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Ford brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its 2016 fleet

19 May 2017

Ford is updating a large number of 2016 model year cars equipped with SYNC 3 infotainment software, adding Android Auto and CarPlay to the vehicles with a free, over-the-air update via Wi-Fi, or using either USB or going through their dealer.

Android Auto is already available on all 2017 models, and this update brings the platform to around 800,000 additional vehicles. The company has announced that a software update will allow its entire fleet from that year to use both Android Auto and CarPlay. Android Auto is supported for smartphones running Android 5.0 and higher, while CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later, updated to iOS 7.1 or higher.

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If you own one of these cars, and if you own an device that has Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, you can get grab this update today. Alternatively, you can download the update by visiting the Ford Owner portal on your PC and install it on to a USB drive.

Ford auto owners can download a free, over-the-air update via Wi-Fi, use USB, or visit their dealer.

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Retroactively offering this kind of thing to auto owners is a definite change in tone for auto makers, since they typically use these kinds of things as incentives to get people interested in vehicle model updates. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control.

Though Ford has been issuing SYNC upgrades since 2009, this is the first time the company is offering an update via Wi-Fi. CarPlay and Android Auto are huge upgrades vs. most in-car software, offering navigation and entertainment options that follow you from your phone to your vehicle. A constant Wi-Fi connection isn't needed either, as the update will work in the background every time it has access until the update is complete.

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Ford brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its 2016 fleet