Ford Motor Company has announced that it will extend its SYNC AppLink upgrade for free to an additional 3.4 million vehicles.

The automaker launched SYNC in 2007 as a factory-installed integrated in-car communications and entertainment system. SYNC allows users to control music, make hands-free telephone calls and perform other functions with the use of voice commands. In 2010, Ford launched AppLink, which allowed developers to create apps for Ford vehicles, making it possible to access apps using SYNC, SYNC with MyFord and SYNC with Voice Navigation.

"Ford was first to bring affordable and widely available advanced connectivity features to the market starting with SYNC, putting Ford firmly on the map as a technology company," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. "With the rapid pace of mobile and digital innovation, our goal is to move the bar yet again, leveraging emerging technologies and the flexibility of the SYNC platform to enhance the ownership experience for customers."

Ford already has over 1.4 million vehicles with AppLink running on the road. AppLink users can access more than 60 smartphone apps on iOS and Android platforms using the car's voice commands. Drivers can access and control smartphone apps such as TuneIn, NPR and iHeartRadio using voice commands.

On Friday, January 3, Ford announced that owners of 2010 model or newer cars will be able to download AppLink and load the app integration system into their cars. Just like previous updates, eligible Ford car owners should also have the option to get their dealers to do the software upgrade.

Ford initially made the SYNC AppLink available to the 2011 Ford Fiesta. As for the 2014 model, SYNC AppLink is now available on most Ford cars, ranging from the Fiesta to the F-150. However, SYNC AppLink is not compatible with MyFord Touch, Ford's infotainment system.

Ford is expected to confirm the release date and the cars which will get SYNC AppLink at the upcoming 2014 International CES, which starts on Jan. 7 in Las Vegas.

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