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Ford Gets Siri-ous with Sync Software Update

Move affects Ford products dating back to 2011.

by on Dec.04, 2015

Ford owners will now have access to Apple's Siri, but not the Apple CarPlay system.

Ford is the latest in a growing list of automakers adding Apple’s Siri voice valet service to its cars. But unlike some of its competitors, Ford will allow owners of vehicles dating back as far as the 2011 model-year to add the popular feature to their cars.

The move is expected to impact as many as 5 million Ford owners who will simply need to go online, download the update and then plug it into vehicles equipped with Sync and the maker’s MyFord Touch infotainment system.

Tech Talk!

Sync “was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Marakby, director, Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. (more…)

GM Gets Siri-ous

Maker adds iPhone voice-activated system to three small cars.

by on Nov.27, 2012

Chevrolet will integrate Apple's voice-activated Siri personal assistant into three of its small car models.

General Motors is getting Siri-ous about its voice-activated infotainment technology.  The maker plans to introduce the Apple iPhone’s popular voice-activated personal assistant technology on three of its Chevrolet models early next year.

The technology will allow a motorist to do many of the things already found in older, less advanced voice-controlled in-car technologies, such as playing music, switching radio stations or plugging in a destination. But Siri was designed to go even further, providing access to an iPhone contact, for example, or checking or adding appointments and even finding a local business, store or restaurant.

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“Safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet’s small car marketing director, referring to the brand’s current infotainment technology.


Are You Siri-ous?

Apple wants automakers to add Siri "Eyes Free" button to steering wheel.

by on Jun.11, 2012

More and more cars now work with iPhones. Now Apple wants to do more work inside the car.

It’s hard to find a new car, these days, that doesn’t offer a USB port.  Make that a USB port specifically equipped with the specific cord designed to link an iPhone or some other Apple device to your vehicle infotainment system.

Based on plans announced by Apple at its annual software developer’s conference it appears Apple wants to grab a spot on the steering wheel, as well.

While your recent-model car likely already has a button to activate its voice command system its replacement might very well feature a second button to wake up Siri.  That’s Apple’s proprietary voice command system that can help you do anything from plug a destination into your navigation system to find the best synonym for “corporate arrogance.”

In the Know!

Apple is calling the button “Eyes Free,” according to the tech website Engadget.  And it appears the button would only operate an iPhone or another Apple device equipped with Siri – which is soon expected to include an update version of the Apple iPad.


“Test Driving” Cadillac Cue

iPad-like system can be controlled with normal speech.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Cadillac demonstrates the new Cue infotainment system, which debuts on the 2013 Caddy XTS.

Ever since Motorola introduced the first primitive in-car radio motorists have been demanding more and better onboard electronics – and these days, some cars offer better technology than you’ll find in the typical home or office.

But that raises another challenge: how to provide simple and intuitive controls for all that technology so the car’s cabin doesn’t like the crowded cockpit of a fighter jet.  We’ve seen some creative solutions – from BMW’s iDrive to Ford MyTouch — that have created problems of their own, but now, General Motors is weighing in with what it bills as the even more advanced Cadillac Cue.

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We got a chance to take the technology for a test drive, so to speak, ahead of its formal introduction at the L.A. Auto Show next week.  And, while the prototype Caddy Cue still had some clear bugs to work out before its launch on the new 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan, we found that it clearly advances the state of in-car infotainment controls.