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Software update allows all 2016 Ford cars to use CarPlay

There’s good news for anyone with a 2016-model Ford. The company has announced that a software update will allow its entire fleet from that year to use both CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay supports all models from the iPhone 5 up, running iOS 7.1 or later.

While you can take your car to a dealer to do the update for you, that isn’t necessary as there are a couple of DIY options …

You can download the update from Ford’s owner support website, but it will also be the first over the air update for Sync, meaning users with Wi-Fi enabled vehicles will be able to download it directly:

Customers can update their software by visiting owner.ford.com to download and install with a USB drive, or by visiting a dealership. Customers with Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles and a Wi-Fi network can set up their vehicle to receive the update automatically.

CarPlay is already available on all 2017 models, and this update brings the platform to around 800,000 additional vehicles.

If you have an older model Ford, the company added Siri Eyes Free compatibility to Sync-equipped vehicles dating back to 2011. This provides some access to Siri, though not full CarPlay functionality.

If your car doesn’t have a manufacturer-supported CarPlay option, there are aftermarket receivers available with pricing starting in the $300 range. Pioneer added five new models just yesterday, and you can check out our guide for the best CarPlay receivers and best CarPlay apps.

Ford SYNC 3 Update Brings Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Software Support to 2016 Vehicles

  • Ford SYNC 3 software update brings support for Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay to model-year 2016 vehicles
  • Customers can update by downloading the software to a USB drive, visiting a dealership or over-the-air via a Wi-Fi connection
  • This is Ford’s first software update via Wi-Fi and offers a convenient and automated alternative to existing upgrade methods

DEARBORN, Mich., May 19, 2017 – Ford is making Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software support available to model-year 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3. Customers with model-year 2016 Ford vehicles can update to the new SYNC 3 version 2.2 by downloading to a USB drive, visiting a dealership or automatically through a Wi-Fi connection.

“Our SYNC 3 software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “With over-the-air updates, we can deliver new features to customers in the background while they continue using their vehicles.”

Customers can update their software by visiting owner.ford.com to download and install with a USB drive, or by visiting a dealership. Customers with Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles and a Wi-Fi network can set up their vehicle to receive the update automatically.

Android Auto

Compatible with Android™ devices 5.0 and higher, Android Auto brings the Android experience into the vehicle safely and easily with Google Maps, Google Play Music, phone, messaging and third party apps projected on the car’s built-in display and available via voice controls. With a simplified interface, large touch targets, Google voice search and easy-to-use voice controls, Android Auto is designed to minimize distraction while on the road.

Android, Android Auto, Google Maps and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

Apple CarPlay

Compatible with iPhone 5 and later models running iOS 7.1 or higher, Apple CarPlay gives iPhone users an intuitive way to make phone calls, use voice-guided navigation, listen to music, and send and receive messages while staying focused on the road. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control. Apple CarPlay support requires a USB hub upgrade available through Ford dealers.

SYNC 3 currently supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on all model-year 2017 Ford cars including the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Mustang, SUVs including the Escape, Explorer and Expedition, F-Series trucks and Ford’s electrified vehicles.

Receiving updates over Wi-Fi

Though Ford has been issuing SYNC upgrades since 2009, this is the first time the company is offering an update via Wi-Fi. In Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles with Automatic System Updates turned on within SYNC 3, the system will periodically connect to a customer’s designated Wi-Fi network to check for updates. If an update is available, the system automatically downloads the update in the background over a period of time without any customer interaction. And SYNC 3 is designed 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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