Ford using first over-the-air software updates to its 2016 cars

Alicia Guzman
May 20, 2017

If you're feeling "with it" technologically, it's also available via Ford's first-ever Wi-Fi update.

Sync is the name of Ford's in-car infotainment system that for a number of years (and versions) has allowed you to connect your smartphone and get easy access to some of its services. Android Auto, on the other hand, seems to have no installation restrictions.

Ford Motor Co said on Friday it would delve into the growing arena of "over-the-air" software updates, adding Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its Sync 3-equipped 2016 vehicles for the first time via a wireless software update.

Or download the SYNC 3 update over the air via Wi-Fi (if you have a Wi-Fi enabled vehicle and a Wi-Fi network).

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"Our SYNC 3 software platform was created to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements", said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services.

The update comes after carmakers Audi and Volvo announced that they will be using Android as the main operating system for their upcoming cars. Android Auto requires Android 5.0 devices or higher.

Some of Ford's SYNC 3-enabled cars are finally getting an update to match the rest of the connected vehicle ecosystem. "With over-the-air updates, we can deliver new features to customers in the background while they continue using their vehicles". Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control.

SYNC 3 now supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all model-year 2017 Ford cars including the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Mustang, SUVs including the Escape, Explorer and Expedition, F-Series trucks and Ford's electrified vehicles.

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Now, thanks to a simple USB update (or by visiting a dealership), you can add Android and Apple's in-car functionality, opening the door to a new interface in your vehicle.

Or download the update from this website and install it with a USB drive.

In total, 800,000 vehicles are eligible for the update, which is being called a giant step for Ford, which recently hired 400 engineers to work on its connected auto initiative.

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