Ford and Microsoft Team Up for Sync

I love music. I love the internet-radio application Pandora. In fact, I’m somewhat of a Pandora evangelist. I prefer it to playing .mp3s or CDs. I use Pandora on my mobile phone when walking and at home with my mobile phone in its docking station. I miss it terribly in my car. Sure, I’ve tried using one of those devices that broadcast audio to your car stereo, but it just doesn’t work that well and you have a bunch of wires laying around. I’m not alone, according to a recent announcement, 55% of Pandora users listen to it using earbuds while driving. I don’t recommend this however.

I never thought that software would make me want to purchase a car until I read about Ford’s recent announcement of new Sync™ technology that it is adding to its new line of vehicles. With this new technology, Pandora users will be able seamlessly move from listening to music on their mobile device walking to the car, then switch to listening to the same music in the car through the car’s sound system without missing a beat. Now, this is giving the people what they want!

Ford is focusing this new technology on mobile apps with streaming content. This is all made possible by Ford’s partnership with Microsoft to provide a version of Windows Embedded CE called Windows Embedded Automotive combined with its media hardware, together called Sync. Ford is now opening up the platform to developers with a new software development kit, or SDK, called the Sync API.

The Sync API will allow application developers to “activate text-to-speech, give voice commands, and access vehicle data. They can also use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB-based connectivity using the development language of their mobile device, such as iPhone or BlackBerry,” according to Ford. I am overcome with nerdy bliss to discover that Pandora is one of the earlier adopters of this new SDK.

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