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Ford updates its 2016 vehicles to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Ford updates its 2016 vehicles to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Android Auto is compatible with Android-powered mobile devices with version 5.0 or higher of the operating system. You can download the Sync 3 update to a thumb drive and bring it out to your vehicle.

Whereas standalone Android Auto or CarPlay head units can set drivers back hundreds, this over-the-air update comes completely free of charge {/pullquote}.

The more notable detail is in the way the rollout of SYNC 3 version 2.2 will be handled.

It could also encourage drivers to stick with their 2016 model for a while longer, rather than upgrade to a newer vehicle with built-in CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. With a simplified interface, large touch targets, Google voice search and easy-to-use voice controls, Android Auto is created to minimize distraction while on the road. If an update is available, the system automatically downloads the update in the background over a period of time without any customer interaction.

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Keep in mind that while the getting Android Auto would be as simple as downloading the update, enabling CarPlay would require an upgrade of the vehicle's USB hub, something that requires a dealership visit and extra costs. The company is offering its customers several avenues to install the update in their Fords.

To get the update over-the-air, a Ford SYNC 3-equipped vehicle must have Wi-Fi compatibility and automatic system updates enabled.

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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