Ford drives apps for navigation, social, fun
Launches Ford Developer Program to bolster in-vehicle app platform
Computerworld - LAS VEGAS - Ford Motor Co. is looking to integrate drivers' favorite apps into their cars, giving them someone to read them the morning newspaper, along with an app to find them the site of their next great date.
The auto maker is now looking to make their cars much more social, letting friends and family know exactly where you are on everything from big road trips to a drive to the beach.
To help them do this, the company launched the Ford Developer Program. Hau Thai-Tang, vice president of engineering for Ford, told an audience at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that the open developer program should help third-party programmers create apps for Ford's Sync AppLink, an auto feature that lets users run their smartphone apps through the vehicle.
Ford is hoping the program, which is live now, will help developers create new apps, all voice-recognized, that will fit in with their Sync platform.
"It really is so exciting to see the next phase of the evolution of the driving experience opening up before our eyes," said Paul Mascarenas, chief technology officer of Ford, during a presentation at CES on Monday afternoon. "This marks a strategic shift in how we innovate for the future. Collaboration is more important as we face an ever-changing and diverse world. Ford wants to be developer-focused."
At this point, there already are a few dozen apps, like Pandora, NPR and MLB.com, that work with Ford's Sync platform. Ford simply is trying to multiply its app ecosystem.
One new face in the app field is BeCouply.
Available for the iPhone on Tuesday and coming soon to a Ford near you, the new app is designed to help couples find interesting dates near them. Want to go horseback riding? Or maybe try a cooking class? Soon the BeCouply app in your car will tell you where you can go to do these things and then will give you turn-by-turn directions to get you there.
And USA Today also has an app for Ford's Sync platform. This app will have a real human reading everything from political news to health and finance stories to drivers on their trips to work.
"We're finally entering the final frontier where we are not already America's news brand -- the car," said David Payne, chief digital officer for the Gannett Co. "Now for the first time, consumers can safely get the latest news, finance and sports in a car, a Ford. This is the first consumer-friendly news app for the car."
Ford also is working with the Kaliki app, which offers human-read read content from newspapers and magazines, like OK!, TV Guide, Shape and Men's Fitness.
If someone wants their friends and family to know where they are while they're driving around town or across the country, Ford is working with the Glympse app.
Glympse is designed to enable drivers to share their location via email, Facebook or Twitter. The driver -- or possibly a young driver's parents -- tell the app who to give the information to and for how long.
Want more on CES? See our Complete coverage of CES 2013.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is email@example.com.
- Dude, we're gonna need more wireless
- Is CES a thieves' paradise?
- Tablets, smartphones and TVs upstage PCs at CES
- IPv6 can boost mobile performance, battery life, proponents say
- HomePlug moving beyond adapters to built-in networking
- GoPro, iON cameras turn your life into a movie
- CES crowd likes FCC's Wi-Fi expansion plans
- Micron unveils its first 1TB SSD -- for under $600
- Video gallery: 2013 CES
- Augmented reality mobile app brings inanimate objects to life
Read more about Personal Technology in Computerworld's Personal Technology Topic Center.
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- Drive Business Growth with the Right Social Media Tools With social media taking an increasingly important role in business, CIOs have an opportunity before them: Demonstrate their ability to evolve by facilitating...
- Marketing Analytics Handbook: Marketing ROI for the Mobile Workforce Mobility is redefining marketing analytics capabilities. This Marketing Analytics Handbook demonstrates how 24/7 visibility into marketing ROI and other KPIs make real-time analysis...
- Infor Epiphany Solution Overview Infor Epiphany leads the way in enabling enterprises to deliver more timely and relevant messages and create longer lasting and more valuable customer...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Consumerization of IT White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!