Ford SYNC 3 offers voice activated ways to control smartphones, such as calling or searching as well as AppLink apps. Siri Eyes-Free is activated by holding the steering wheel button.
The touchscreen has been simplified with three zones on the home screen–Navigation, Audio and Phone. Phone contacts can be search by a swiping and scrolling through the letters. It also has one box search.
AppLink automatically discovers smartphone apps including Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, NPR One and iHeart Auto (iHeartRadio’s automotive app), and displays each app’s unique graphics and branding. Music and news apps are automatically displayed along with other media sources – just like AM/FM or SiriusXM.
SYNC 3 provides subscription-free emergency service 911 Assist. SYNC 3 now also features the ability to update software via Wi-Fi.
Ford recently showed the new SYNC 3 at CES Shanghai.
Ford previously based SYNC on Microsoft but witched to QNX software for Ford SYNC 3 but is now partnering with Microsoft for Ford’s Cloud Connected Services for vehicle status reports, remote scheduled start and vehicle finder.
Ford has an open app system that allows developers to create apps for Ford vehicles. Ford announced the grand prize winner of the winner of the a Connected Car-Connected City App Pursuit at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Connected Car Expo – FuelSignal that connects to Ford vehicles with Ford SYNC.