In-car internet radio becomes a reality
Ford has announced a new developer program which will allow radio stations gain space on a vehicle’s digital screen via apps.
The SYNC© AppLink™ already includes a way to listen to the radio via smartphones, with Pandora, Stitcher smart radio and iHeartRadio on board, but now Ford is opening it up to any station – regardless of whether the station is online, AM, FM, or digital.
And in what has been described as a “major breakthrough for the radio industry”, Ford has named Michigan-based jacAPPS as the recommended mobile app development house to help radio stations create voice-activated smartphone apps for Ford SYNC© AppLink™.
Using SYNC© voice commands along with steering wheel and radio buttons, drivers can listen to a live audio stream or their favorite podcasts from within the mobile app.
“Because of our experience in the radio space, combined with our shared history as Detroit-based companies, a natural partnership quickly developed,” jacAPPS Vice President/General Manager Paul Jacobs comments.”
“We will now be able to take mobile applications and provide code to allow them to be fully integrated with SYNC© AppLink™, gain important real estate on the cars’ screen, voice command functionality, and more. This gives radio stations an important piece of digital real estate in the one area where the lion’s share of listening takes place – the car.”
SYNC© AppLink™ is only available in the US at the moment, but reports suggest it is coming to cars in Europe later this year.