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Android Auto Wireless coming to 'select' Ford vehicles in 2020

Smartphone manufacturers might get a bad rap for not adopting the newest version of Android fast enough, but automobile companies are even slower. In addition to designing their own proprietary entertainment system software, manufacturers have lingered when deciding to incorporate innovations like Android Auto or circumvent these offerings for their own OSes. In terms of American car companies, Ford was a little late to the first round of the Android Auto party, and after more than a year since Android Auto Wireless debuted, the next generation of Ford SYNC is finally ready to bring this update to some of its lineup.

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Ford adds 8 vehicles to the Android Auto roster, including the EcoSport and Fiesta

Ford is one the biggest automakers in the world, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that its already-lengthy Android Auto compatibility list has just grown by eight. The additions include three economy cars and four vans, as well as its 647-horsepower GT supercar.

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Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to Ford vehicles

Amazon has successfully turned Alexa into a capable home automation and assistant platform, but it's about to branch out from your home. Amazon and Ford are partnering to bring Alexa to the car. Not only can you control your car remotely, you can use Alexa commands while driving it.

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FordVR brings behind-the-scenes VR racing videos to your phone

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I could watch Ford™ virtual reality experiences on my phone"? Me neither, but someone out there must be at least mildly interested, even if they are an executive at Ford.

All joking aside, FordVR is a new application that provides "an extraordinary new virtual reality experience that’s the closest thing to the real thing," according to the app's description. Upon downloading the app, you are greeted with the one video currently available in FordVR - "The Return to Le Mans." Even if you're not at all into sport car racing, it should still be interesting.

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[CES 2016] Ford Shows Off Its Android Auto Implementation On The Sync 3 Platform

Ford is showing off the current state of its Android Auto implementation at CES, which will roll out to current and future Sync 3-equipped cars later this year. In many ways, it matches that of other auto makers where Android Auto is sort of like an app inside of their own custom interface. However, a representative at Ford's booth explained that Sync 3 has been optimized to stay out of the way when Android Auto is running by hiding its own redundant systems like the built-in navigation and phone apps. Many other in-car systems tend to prefer their own navigation and dialer if they are opened from within the custom interfaces, but Ford will automatically launch Google Maps and Auto's own dialer, regardless of which interface you're looking at.

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Ford Announces Android Auto Support For Current And Future SYNC-Equipped Vehicles, Coming Later This Year

Google's Android Auto system is gaining a bit of steam, but you still need to hunt for a manufacturer and model that support it (assuming you're buying a new car and not just upgrading your stereo). That will be a little easier later this year: in the lead-up to CES, American manufacturing giant Ford has announced that its semi-proprietary SYNC system will soon support Android Auto. Specifically, those cars that are currently on the road and use SYNC version 3 will be upgraded with Android Auto capability, and 2017 SYNC-equipped models should have Android Auto support built in.

Android Auto support will come along with a host of other upgrades, including simultaneous support for Apple's competing CarPlay standard.

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Ford Releases Very Cool MyFord Mobile App For Android, Works With Ford Focus EV And C-MAX Energi

It's pretty unlikely you own either of the vehicles Ford has made compatible with its new MyFord Mobile app, but if you're interested in cars, this is definitely something you're probably curious about in a broader sense. Ford's new app allows you to view your plugin's remaining battery charge, control charging (you can set to charge during the cheapest hours, too), remotely operate and set timers for the climate control, start/stop and lock/unlock, plan trips that get sent to the nav system, and find charging stations. This is all done via AT&T's network through a cellular module in the car. When you buy your Ford EV, a 5-year subscription to the app is included, after which point you'll be charged a fee.

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