Ford brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to its 2016 fleet

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For all those customers with model-year 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3, Ford will offer a downloadable update that adds SYNC 2.2, bringing with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Android Auto is already available on all 2017 models, and this update brings the platform to around 800,000 additional vehicles. If it does not have Wi-Fi hardware, you can go to Ford's website on your PC and download the update to a USB Flash drive, and then plug in that drive in your vehicle to install the software.

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For CarPlay, users will still also need to upgrade their vehicle's USB hub to make this work (which will also incur a dealer visit and a cost), but for those on Android, all that's required is a simple software installation.

Retroactively offering this kind of thing to auto owners is a definite change in tone for auto makers, since they typically use these kinds of things as incentives to get people interested in vehicle model updates. One way is to simply go to your local Ford dealership and have one of its service employees install the update for you. You can download the Sync 3 update to a thumb drive and bring it out to your vehicle. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control.

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This is also the first update that Ford is going to push via Wi-Fi to some of its newer cars. As long as the system is connected to the Wi-Fi, the update process will keep running in the background. And SYNC 3 is created to perform the update as long as Wi-Fi is connected prior to the vehicle turning off, therefore there is no need to keep the vehicle running for the update to take place.

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