Ford using first over-the-air software updates to its 2016 cars

Ford using first over-the-air software updates to its 2016 cars

Ford using first over-the-air software updates to its 2016 cars

Starting today, anyone who owns one of Ford's 2016 vehicles with the SYNC 3 infotainment system can get a software update that will enable support for both Android Auto as well as its main rival, Apple's Carplay.

You can obtain the update in three ways: by downloading over the air for Wi-Fi-connected vehicles, by bringing your auto to a Ford dealership, or by downloading the update to a USB drive then manually plugging into the auto. Blackberry QNX powers Ford's Sync 3 system.

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.

If you're feeling "with it" technologically, it's also available via Ford's first-ever Wi-Fi update. Instead of relying on their vehicle's built-in navigation system, which might be outdated, they can project Google Maps onto their car's in-dash display, for instance.

More news: Elon Musk Unveils Test Run Footage Of Tunnel Planned Under LA

Android Auto is compatible with Android-powered mobile devices with version 5.0 or higher of the operating system. With a simplified interface, large touch targets, Google voice search and easy-to-use voice controls, Android Auto is created to minimize distraction while on the road.

Keep in mind that while the getting Android Auto would be as simple as downloading the update, enabling CarPlay would require an upgrade of the vehicle's USB hub, something that requires a dealership visit and extra costs.

Or download the update from this website and install it with a USB drive.

Apple CarPlay works with iPhone 5 and later models with iOS 7.1 and higher. This marks the first time that Ford will enable one of its updates to be applied via WiFi. Owners just need to turn on the automatic system updates function in the Sync 3 system, which will then periodically connect to the owner's designated Wi-Fi network to check for updates.

Related news