Ford today is releasing a software update to its model-year 2016 vehicles with SYNC 3 so that the entire fleet will be able to use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Which is awesome news, because I still haven’t forgiven SYNC 3 for butchering Nilay’s name.
You can obtain the update in three ways: by downloading over the air for Wi-Fi-connected vehicles, by bringing your car to a Ford dealership, or by downloading the update to a USB drive then manually plugging into the car. To DIY the update, you’ll need to download the right version for your car from Ford’s owner support website. Android Auto is supported for smartphones running Android 5.0 and higher, while CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later, updated to iOS 7.1 or higher.
The update today comes after car makers Audi and Volvo announced that they will be using Android as the main operating system for their upcoming cars. Although today’s news means Ford now offers Android Auto as an option in more of its vehicles, it doesn’t seem to want to replace SYNC 3 with Android entirely — after all, it recently hired 400 BlackBerry engineers to work on its connected car initiative. Whether that’s the right move remains to be seen, as the first car with a traditional mobile OS as the main system won’t be on the market for at least another year or two.