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2016 Ford Vehicles Get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay Via OTA Updates

20 May 2017, 1:20 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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If you have a Ford vehicle equipped with a Sync 3 infotainment system, you can now shift to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay as your main car interface. Here’s how to update your car to either systems.  ( Ford )

Ford's 2016 vehicle lineup is now getting some pretty hefty updates on the software side of things, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in tow.

Not only that, but Ford is pushing these updates out over-the-air. That's right: for the first time ever, Sync 3, Ford's interactive touchscreen interface, will receive an upgrade via Wi-Fi, just like smartphones do. If you have a Sync 3-equipped 2016 Ford car, then you can expect a wireless software update any second now.

"Our [Sync 3] software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements," said Don Butler, Ford's executive director for Connected Vehicles and Services.

Ford Releases Sync 3 OTA Update

Sure, Ford's Sync 3 system has received pretty good reviews so far, with the new infotainment system outperforming its lackluster predecessor, MyFord or MyLincoln Touch. But it's safe to assume that both dedicated car interfaces Android Auto and Apple CarPlay beat other options in the infotainment arena.

Both systems will work better with smartphone pairing, for one, allowing car owners to more effectively use apps with car-specific functionalities. This will allow for more seamless experiences between your car and your phone.

Take note, however, that if you have either system enabled, most Sync 3 features, such as its in-house navigation system or AppLink, will be disabled. Instead, drivers can choose either Google Maps or Apple Maps for road navigation.

How To Get The Sync 3 Software Update

For those who have Wi-Fi enabled infotainment systems, you can connect to a Wi-Fi network and set up your car to receive the software update automatically.

Meanwhile, for vehicles that aren't Wi-Fi-enabled, you can update your software by visiting Ford's site to download the update onto a USB drive. It's worth noting, however, that Apple CarPlay will require a USB hub upgrade, which you can get through Ford dealers.

Sync 3 supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all model of 2017 Ford vehicles, which includes the Fiesta, Focus, and Mustang. Ford's SUVs, including the Escape, Explorer, and Expedition, also support both infotainment systems. F-Series trucks and EVs also run them as well.

OTA Adoption For Vehicles

Ever since Tesla's lead in the OTA department, other automakers have tried to follow suit, embracing the technology piecemeal. Still, adoption has been relatively slow, since car dealers in particular still have concerns over losing service revenue.

OTA updates can save costs for automakers, since a significant percentage of warranty and repair issues can be ironed out via software updates.

Ford is taking steps to becoming a connected car company — it's slow in this regard, sure, but it's moving, which is better than nothing. The arrival of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on 2016 Ford vehicles is one step forward.

Have you updated your Ford 2016 vehicle's Sync 3 to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? Which one do you like best? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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