I’ve been complaining for years about not being able to send tunes from my MP3 player to my car except by burning CD”s, here’s hoping some devs fix that defect fast. Inter connectivity between home computers, mobile phones, pads, and the car dash board also leaves a lot to be desired. If I pull up a map on Google or Mapquest from home, I should be able to bookmark it to my car, etc.
Automakers, hoping to get ahead of the technology curve for once, are opening their dashboards and APIs to outside developers in a bid to ramp up the number of apps you can use behind the wheel.
Ford and General Motors rolled into CES saying they want to make it easier than ever for developers to create apps that will make their infotainment systems more entertaining, more engaging and more useful.
The moves are desperately needed, because developers have been slow to code for cars. Ford introduced its Sync AppLink platform here in Las Vegas three years ago and, like similar systems from its competitors, supports only a handful of apps, primarily for audio streaming. That’s got to change, which is why the Motown rivals announced development platforms designed to accelerate app integration and turn the trickle into a torrent. The announcements underscore just how important the infotainment space has become for automakers.
Each automaker is providing developers with an SDK through an online portal. As part of the Ford Developer Program, the Dearborn-based automaker is offering support from its own mobile app development house, jacAPPS, and app-testing partner Cetecom. Ford also will provide a Technology Development Kit that Julius Marchwicki, Ford’s global product manager for AppLink, described as “Sync in a box.” The SDK will allow apps to be developed in English first, “with other languages to come,” Marchwicki adds.