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Ford Will Retrofit Siri Support to More than Five Million SYNC-Equipped Cars

Maybe it’s not that obvious to the regular car fan who only really cares about the oily bits, but one that’s also a tech freak will have noticed that there’s a side-war going on in the automotive industry between the two IT giants: Apple and Google.
Ford Siri compatibility 1 photo
While we feel for that old-schooled petrolhead, the hard truth is that the quality of infotainment systems is becoming more and more crucial for the modern consumer, and that’s something car makers have realized they can’t do on their own. Or, better yet, that it’s better to work together with the two main names in the Silicon Valley.

That’s why a lot of modern cars now come with either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay connectivity, so that the human-smartphone-car triangle has the best possible flow of information without affecting safety in any way. But how about older cars?

Ford has a (partial) solution to that. Most of its cars going as far back as four years come with the company’s proprietary infotainment system called SYNC. The system already allowed drivers to make calls, listen to online music and, more recently, operate some of the car’s features from a distance.

However, this was all possible via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone with the Sync Connect app installed. Now, Ford is adding specific Apple features to its SYNC-enabled cars, which shows the Blue Oval company is clearly choosing one side over the other.

Owners of 2011 or later Ford models (and an iPhone, we might add) can now download a software update adding Siri functionality to the car’s SYNC system.

A number of features previously handled by the anonymous voice of the car’s system will now become Siri’s attributes, but the upgrade will also add a whole range of possibilities. Basically, everything that Siri could do while you held the phone in your hand can now be achieved in the car, without taking the hands off the steering wheel.

After successfully connecting an iPhone to the car’s infotainment system, long-pressing the voice recognition button will bring up Siri Eyes Free. From here on, there are multiple possibilities that any Apple user should be perfectly familiar with by now. Below there’s a demonstration of how easy it is to send an SMS, but Siri’s abilities go far beyond that.

There are lots of other car makers offering similar options, but Ford’s ability to retrofit the feature on older models needs to be saluted.


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