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Ford Brings CarPlay to 2016 Vehicles With SYNC 3 Update

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Apr 12, 2001
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Ford today released a SYNC 3 software update that adds CarPlay and Android Auto support to its 2016 model year vehicles.


Ford said customers with Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles can set up their vehicle to receive the update automatically. SYNC 3 version 2.2 can also be downloaded from the Ford Owner website and installed with a USB drive, or customers can visit any Ford dealership to have the update process completed for free.

Last summer, Ford made CarPlay and Android Auto available in all of its 2017 vehicles with SYNC 3. At the time, it promised it would bring CarPlay and Android Auto to its 2016 model year vehicles by the end of the year, and while it missed that target by about five months, the update has now arrived.

In late 2015, Ford retroactively added Siri Eyes Free support to 5 million 2011-2016 model year vehicles.

CarPlay brings Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts, and a number of third-party apps like Spotify to a vehicle's dashboard. Apple's in-car software can be controlled with Siri and a vehicle's built-in controls for convenient access to common iPhone features. It's compatible with iPhone 5 and later.

Article Link: Ford Brings CarPlay to 2016 Vehicles With SYNC 3 Update
 

usersince86

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2002
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Columbus, Ohio
I honestly don't know, but is there a reason (other than wanting people to buy a newer model) that "smart" car radios couldn't add this technology retroactively? For example, we have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited that connects to my iPhone, but in a very limited way.

(Note: editing this to include the fact that both bluetooth and USB connections are available in our car, as well as many others from other manufacturers.)
 
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AustinIllini

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Oct 20, 2011
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I honestly don't know, but is there a reason (other than wanting people to buy a newer model) that bluetooth equipped car radios couldn't add this technology retroactively? For example, we have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited that connects to my iPhone, but in a very limited way.
I'm actually not sure. Very few, if any models offer CarPlay over bluetooth.
 
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AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
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Austin, TX
Does CarPlay only work through a wired connection? (i.e. lightning connector)
So far. I believe at the NAIAS some carmaker demoed CarPlay over the air (either WiFi or Bluetooth), but I'm fairly certain no one has a production model with CarPlay wireless.
 
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usersince86

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2002
377
750
Columbus, Ohio
CarPlay only works through either (a) wired connection, or (b) WiFi. Not bluetooth. Unfortunately.

I guess I should have said that the Sonata has a USB connection as well, so it wouldn't have to be through bluetooth. Mainly, just wondering if there's any possibility manufacturers would be able (and interested) in making CarPlay usable on "smart" car radios.
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
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Philadelphia, PA
Frustrating for me. I have wanted CarPlay, but I have a 2015 Mustang GT and they said it is not eligible for any type of upgrade to get this.
 
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briley1975

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2014
5
16
Kansas City, MO
As an owner of a 2016 Ford Fusion I can easily confirm that this update is NOT available on ALL 2016 Ford models. You must have the correct Sync 3 HARDWARE already installed from the factory and not the previous Sync version (i.e. My FordTouch). The Siri Eyes Free feature (added last year maybe?) works really great on the older system, but you can NOT simply upgrade the software and magically get Carplay in your vehicle. It's completely dependent on the newer hardware (which was not yet used in ALL 2016 Ford Models). Sucks but true. Now... you can pay big $$$$ and get the new hardware online and have it installed, and then upgrade to Carplay, but again...$$$$.



Ford today released a SYNC 3 software update that adds CarPlay and Android Auto support to its 2016 model year vehicles.


Ford said customers with Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles can set up their vehicle to receive the update automatically. SYNC 3 version 2.2 can also be downloaded from the Ford Owner website and installed with a USB drive, or customers can visit any Ford dealership to have the update process completed for free.

Last summer, Ford made CarPlay and Android Auto available in all of its 2017 vehicles with SYNC 3. At the time, it promised it would bring CarPlay and Android Auto to its 2016 model year vehicles by the end of the year, and while it missed that target by about five months, the update has now arrived.

In late 2015, Ford retroactively added Siri Eyes Free support to 5 million 2011-2016 model year vehicles.

CarPlay brings Maps, Phone, Messages, Music, Podcasts, and a number of third-party apps like Spotify to a vehicle's dashboard. Apple's in-car software can be controlled with Siri and a vehicle's built-in controls for convenient access to common iPhone features. It's compatible with iPhone 5 and later.

Article Link: Ford Brings CarPlay to 2016 Vehicles With SYNC 3 Update
 
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jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
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I honestly don't know, but is there a reason (other than wanting people to buy a newer model) that bluetooth equipped car radios couldn't add this technology retroactively? For example, we have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited that connects to my iPhone, but in a very limited way.
In reality that is likely true, but the problem is that most car consoles use proprietary software designed for that specific unit. If they change units in a new model year, software updates will never happen unless it is a critical safety issue. In the car manufacturers eyes they already made their money on you, so why should they continue support? If they do all that will result is you keeping the car longer, which doesn't really work out for them.

I'm still holding out hope for my 2015 Mazda 3 though as it uses the same console as the 2017 3 (And there was finally an "official" announcement recently.)
 
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meaning-matters

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Dec 13, 2013
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Wish I had a Mustang, with or without CarPlay.

But I'd prefer a custom styled UI that matches the car. These Ive icons & UI are ugly.
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

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Jul 10, 2008
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Does CarPlay only work through a wired connection? (i.e. lightning connector)

There is Wireless CarPlay. Sadly, only the 2017 BMW 5 Series offers it right now (even though the technology has been out for 3 years). Alpine has an aftermarket stereo coming which will support it too.

Sadly, it eats battery like crazy from all reports I've seen.
 
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Kaibelf

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Apr 29, 2009
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I honestly don't know, but is there a reason (other than wanting people to buy a newer model) that "smart" car radios couldn't add this technology retroactively? For example, we have a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited that connects to my iPhone, but in a very limited way.

(Note: editing this to include the fact that both bluetooth and USB connections are available in our car, as well as many others from other manufacturers.)

From what I understand in my case, the underlying platform prior to Sync 3 didn't support it, and therefore they weren't able to fully execute Carplay. That's why I'm in the same boat even though mine's a 2014. Of course, I'm not rushing out to upgrade the car just for this, but in the future it will be a deal-breaker since the "experience" I get now is pretty abysmal.
 
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Zirel

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Jul 24, 2015
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Apple has been killing it on CarPlay.

Almost all brands use it, Android Auto, not so much...
 
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carletonguy

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2009
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Yeah, the software is there, but CarPlay still won't work. You have to go to the dealership and pay 150 for a hardware upgrade, too. Attentively, you can search the forms online and find the partner for the USB unit and do it in your own.

I bought a 2016 Platinum F-150 and was told CarPlay would be a free upgrade at the end of 2016. Too bad that wasn't true. You'd think a 70k truck would have had the right USB in it... Smh

Alternatively, Android auto works great and doesn't require new hardware. I also think Android auto is executed better than CarPlay, so I'll be sticking with that.
 
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esposimi

macrumors member
Feb 18, 2008
52
9
The previous generation SYNC 2 system was built by Microsoft, highly unlikely it will ever support CarPlay.
 
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spazzcat

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Jun 29, 2007
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Yeah, the software is there, but CarPlay still won't work. You have to go to the dealership and pay 150 for a hardware upgrade, too. Attentively, you can search the forms online and find the partner for the USB unit and do it in your own.

I bought a 2016 Platinum F-150 and was told CarPlay would be a free upgrade at the end of 2016. Too bad that wasn't true. You'd think a 70k truck would have had the right USB in it... Smh

Alternatively, Android auto works great and doesn't require new hardware. I also think Android auto is executed better than CarPlay, so I'll be sticking with that.

You can buy the hub for about $60 on the internet from handful of dealers. It takes about 5 minutes to change it out.
 
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hybrid_x

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Jan 5, 2004
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Teh Interwebz
I rented an Escape last week that had CarPlay, and I was pretty impressed. At first I was a little confused, because it did not work via the USB jack on the centre console, beneath the radio. (Duh?) Once I plugged in via the USB jack in the armrest/centre console bin, it worked like a charm.
 
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Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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California
There is Wireless CarPlay. Sadly, only the 2017 BMW 5 Series offers it right now (even though the technology has been out for 3 years). Alpine has an aftermarket stereo coming which will support it too.

The new 5 series was the first, but BMW has rolled it out to almost all their 2017 model year cars now.
 
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In late 2015, Ford retroactively added Siri Eyes Free support to 5 million 2011-2016 model year vehicles.

I actually got a bill of EUR 70,- (around $78) to get that software update (yes, software update only!) installed. In my case Sync with AppLink version 5.9 on a Late 2014 Ford Focus.

The system version before this latest one will actually crash after every phone call in combination with my iPhone 5s running iOS 10. Didn't like that at all.

Good to see Ford moved to WiFi updates now on new cars. But they clearly didn't think this through on old ones.
 
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