SDL is an open source platform for developing smartphone applications. The library of code includes development tools for Apple’s iPhone, Android and HMI infotainment systems along with sample apps.
Android apps connect through Bluetooth while iPhones connect via a USB port. The nice thing about AppLink is that it will work with older model Android phones. Android Auto requires Lollipop 5.0, a USB with Bluetooth connection and has compatibility issues with some carriers.
The SDL code can be used for creating entertainment, traffic, parking and Internet data for use in in-car infotainment systems. The apps can be accessed using voice recognition, display screens, and dashboard controls.
SDL technology allows developers to design apps only once, that works across multiple infotainment systems saving development time, allowing faster deployment. Current SYNC AppLink apps include Spotify, Glympse, iHeart Radio and Pandora.
“At Ford, we view all aspects of time behind the wheel as core to the experience we provide customers. We’re pleased other members of the industry feel the same way, and look forward to working together to drive even more support for the SDL developer community,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services.
In August 2011, Toyota and Ford agreed to collaborate on development of next generation standards for in-car telematics to enable a safer, more secure and more convenient driving experience.
Ford acquired the software development startup Livio in September 2013.