Vehicles Welcome Apps at CES

1/9/2013

At this year’s 2013 Intl. CES in Las Vegas, the automotive news has been stealing much of the spotlight. Automakers are announcing initiatives designed to bring cars closer to the device world, opening them up to a variety of new applications.

During CES, both Ford Motor Co., www.ford.com, and GM, www.gm.com, have announced they are opening up their app environments to all interested developers.

Ford launched the Ford Developer Program, an open developer program designed to allow software developers to build apps for Ford vehicles. The program will use the SYNC system and AppLink API (application programming interface). Ford also said it is doing a beta test with a group of developers to finalize the SDK (the software development kit), documentation, and technical support systems. Ford says developers interested in the program can register online and download the SDK.


Ford also announced a number of new partners for the Ford AppLink ecosystem, including apps for music, news, navigation, and more.

GM is also opening up its app program to developers. The company says it’s offering a new flexible application framework that will allow drivers to add apps and features to vehicles after purchase. Developers can access new APIs to create apps for GM vehicles. GM is offering its own SDK through an online portal, in which developers can design and test their apps.

Once the apps are approved by GM, they will be available for certain GM vehicles in the future, downloadable through the app catalog.

It seems the future of auto connectivity may be in apps. With outside developers creating for the car, the type of apps could be almost limitless.

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