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Ford encourages tweaks to Sync3 with emulator

In Sync: Local app developers will now be able to create and test apps for compatibility with Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system through the AppLink emulator software.

App developers able to tinker with Sync3 technology via AppLink emulator software

22 Jul 2016

FORD has come up with a way for smartphone app developers to test app compatibility with the car-marker’s Sync3 system, by creating a software program that emulates the infotainment system on the user’s computer.

The Sync3 AppLink Emulator, available to download for free from the Ford Developer Program website, means that developers can experience and tinker with the Sync3 interface without accessing an actual vehicle.

The emulator allows a smartphone to connect to the developer’s computer, as it would with Sync3, then the developer is able to test how their app would look and run when displayed on the Sync3 system.

When in a vehicle, the AppLink system allows the driver to open and use apps from their smartphone onto the centre console Sync3 interface.

However, until now, developers of the apps haven’t been able to see what their apps look and run like when being played through Sync3 without being in a Sync3-compatible vehicle themselves.

The emulator software lets developers set certain conditions – for example vehicle speed, location, temperature and mileage – to test how their apps respond under these conditions, meaning they are more capable of fine-tuning the app.

Ford Connected Vehicle Services manager of mobile app development Dave Hatton said he was excited about the possibilities that the software emulator could bring.

“The Sync3 AppLink Emulator makes app development far more accessible to the developer community,” he said. “We expect this tool to open the door to a host of new and exciting car-friendly apps from developers, both big and small, around the world.”

Available in Ford cars across the world, the emulator allows the Australian iteration of Sync3 to be adjusted to better understand the Australian accent when giving voice commands, to enhance the user experience.

In the US, Ford will host the third annual Sync AppLink developer conference in Las Vegas this September, where Ford engineers will be on hand to explain the latest software to help develop more personalised, vehicle-data-driven apps.

Currently the Mondeo and Focus are the only Ford vehicles on sale in Australia that feature Sync3, however the Ranger, Mustang and Everest are expected to be Sync3-compatible by the end of 2016.

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