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Spotify Joins Ford Sync AppLink Lineup

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Ford announced today at Mobile World Conference that Spotify is the latest app supported by Sync’s AppLink system. Ford is the first manufacturer to directly collaborate with Spotify to delivery voice and steering wheel mounted control of Spotify’s extensive catalog of songs while driving.

Spotify is a subscription-based music service that allows users to create playlists, search for their favorite artists, and listen to a wide variety of music from their computers or smartphones. AppLink will allow Ford drivers to control Spotify music playback from the voice command system built into Sync and by utilizing the steering-wheel mounted audio controls in the vehicle. Spotify is a popular music subscription service, and will likely add to the value of checking the “Sync” option when choosing a new Ford vehicle.

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The driver will be able to select options like starring and un-starring a track, accessing previous and next tracks, adding tracks to a playlist, and selecting a playlist through the voice control interface of the vehicle. Also, the driver can create presets like they would for a normal radio station, except these presets can be set for a playlist, artist, or genre. This will also be the first implementation of social sharing of music in a vehicle, because the driver will be able to accept and play a friend’s playlist and share their own.

Like all other AppLink supported applications, the phone screen becomes un-usable when connected and diverts full control to the vehicle. This allows the driver to be as distraction-free as possible while still allowing access phone functions.

Last year Ford opened a research and development center in Silicon Valley, and since then AppLink support has improved. With an open API architecture and OEM support for app development, it is becoming easy to have your product supported in Ford vehicles. Also, with Ford’s “One Ford” initiative, one type of vehicle sold everywhere in the world, Sync is now becoming available in fresh markets. The uptake of Sync in the United States is incredibly strong, providing incentive to add SYNC Applink support to app developers competing for users and subscription dollars.

Spotify is the latest addition to the wide assortment of in-vehicle entertainment options for Ford drivers. Now a driver can choose from Spotify, the recently announced Amazon Cloud Music player, HD radio, satellite radio, terrestrial radio, mobile phone audio, CDs, and more.

Chad is a writer for Notebooks.com, MotorReview.com, and GottaBeMobile.com. He is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. He also consults in the Information Technology industry, specializing in Apple, K-12 education, and government systems. He can be reached on Google+ alongside Twitter and Facebook.

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