Sync

Ford to add SiriusXM Internet radio app to cars with SYNC AppLink

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 12:50pm

Satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio announced today Ford will add the SiriusXM Internet radio app to cars with its SYNC AppLink.

This means that for the first time, features available previously only on the web -- SiriusXM's customizable MySXM streaming radio and SiriusXM On Demand programming -- would be available in certain Ford vehicles. The New York Times says Ford's app support would also, for the first time, allow subscribers to use the SiriusXM Internet radio app on iPhones and Android handsets. 

Obviously, satellite radio began as a medium primarily intended for the in-car audience. But SiriusXM has evolved its streaming technology in recent years to enable features that would likely be unfeasible via satellite broadcasting, like custom music streams.

Ford's SYNC AppLink will enable voice command, steering wheel, or dashboard control of the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

The Times writes, "Sirius XM will have plenty of streaming-music competition on Ford Sync dashboards, which already include Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker and Mog. There are also traditional radio stations offering streaming channels through TuneIn, plus independent station apps and Clear Channel’s iHeartAuto, which streams more than 800 stations from 150 cities."

Read the SiriusXM press release here. There's more from The New York Times here.

Engadget gives Ford AppLink "Best in Show"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:15pm

Tech news source Engadget awarded "best in show" accolades in nine categories to wrap up its coverage of the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Engadget's winner for "Best in Automotive" went to the Ford AppLink developer program for its SYNC in-dash system -- for which Ford selected jacAPPS as their House Developer for radio apps (see RAIN's coverage here).

JacAPPS is the division of Jacobs Media launched in 2008 to produce mobile apps for broadcasters (and other categories). They've created more than 750 apps for brands like WTOP/Washington, D.C., KIRO/Seattle, WEEI/Boston, WGN/Chicago, and 91X/San Diego.

"It is Ford's developer program that shows the most potential, however, enabling developers to easily upgrade their existing smartphone apps to interact with the company's SYNC AppLink," Engadget said. "Most important: it's totally free."

As James Cridland explains in MediaUK, "For a while (with Ford's SYNC), the only apps that you could control were the big ones - presumably iHeart Radio, Pandora, TuneIn, those types of things. Now, though, they're opening this up to any individually-branded app. So, if you've your own app, your station, too, can be in the 'home screen' of the car dashboard - and control your app through voice commands and the buttons on the steering-wheel. That's massive: since it opens up the car dashboard to anyone who wants to be there. Including your station."

See all of Engadget's CES "best in show" choices here. Read more from Cridland here.

Chevy, TuneIn, Rhapsody, Ford announce CES in-dash deals; Livio demo's new FM Connect

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

Yet even more deals announced at CES this week to bring Internet radio to cars!

Chevrolet has added web radio tuning service TuneIn to its MyLink system to bring the app to MyLink-equipped Chevy Sonics and Sparks. The automaker demo'd the new feature at CES.

And we've mentioned Ford and its SYNC Applink system a few times today. The automaker announced it's adding streaming music service Rhapsody to more than a million Ford and Lincoln vehicles, via SYNC. This is Rhapsody's first full integration with an automaker. Last month (and thus, not related to CES), Spotify announced it would connect with fellow Swedish company Volvo for in-dash operability.

Finally, Livio demonstrated its new technology, called FM Connect, designed to allow in-car FM radio listeners to safely interact with FM broadcasters and sponsors from the dashboard via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Livio is reportedly exiting the car radio kit market.

jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) runs today through Friday in Las Vegas, and we already have a torrent of announcements to report regarding in-car Internet radio.

The first is Ford Motor Company has named jacAPPS, the mobile app development division of radio consulting firm Jacobs Media, a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

The AppLink allows a driver to control digital apps from the steering wheel or using radio buttons. And while the audio entertainment available in such systems so far has been dominated by newer, digital services or apps that aggregate content, the new partnership "will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle’s digital screen," says jacAPPS.

"Individual radio stations no longer have to be concerned about their place on the dashboards of 'connected cars' based on jacAPPS experience," read the jacAPPS announcement. "Beginning today, owners of Ford SYNC AppLink enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS’ extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services."

The company named broadcaster Greater Media its radio partner for the announcement. Sixteen of its station apps are now available with SYNC AppLink functionality.

Ford Sync helped bring Net radio to cars, but consumer response still "tepid" to system in general

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Ford and Microsoft are celebrating 5 years of the Ford Sync in-car connectivity platform, and its installation on 5 million vehicles. SYNC was first announced on Jan. 7, 2007 at the International CES. It was one of the very first of this technology that's now offered by nearly every car manufacturer.

But as the Verge writes, "A tepid response from drivers could be why it's taken Ford five years to install Sync in five million vehicles, but the fact that the system doesn't come as a standard option in the manufacturer's full range — Ford claims that Sync is installed of 70% of its cars 'in general' — no doubt contributed to that sluggish growth."

Ford Sync enables in-car connectivity to content sources like iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, and Stitcher (among very many others).

Read the press release here, and the Verge here.

Ford adds MOG to in-car Sync system; Mazda to integrate Pandora

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 11:40am

MOG and Ford SyncYet another streaming music service has arrived on Ford dashboards. The on-demand service MOG is now supported through the automaker's Sync system.

Listeners can control MOG playback via voice commands, just like they can already do with Pandora, TuneIn, Slacker, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and other music services. Commands include "Artist only," or "similar artists," or even "shuffle favorites." Users can even create presets like they would for AM/FM stations.

A connected smartphone is required to listen to streaming music services in Ford vehicles. Engadget has more coverage here.

Meanwhile, Mazda will add Pandora to its models later this year. Users will be able to control Pandora playback -- including thumbs-ups and -downs -- via their Mazda dashboard. Pandora-friendly Mazdas are expecting to arrive this fall

Pandora says it now has partnerships with 19 automotive brands. You can find its press release here.

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