Ford has introduced its SYNC AppLink in India at the Mobile Developer Summit 2013 in Bangalore, claiming it will "revolutionise the in-car experience for customers in India".

SYNC AppLink allows greater communication between smartphone apps and AppLink-equipped vehicles through voice commands and will be launched in India in 2014.

"We are excited about bringing SYNC AppLink to India and will offer industry-exclusive voice control technology for smartphone apps thereby providing drivers the convenience to access content and information while on the go. [It] goes further in personalising the in-car experience." said David Huang, who heads technology development and connected services for Ford Asia Pacific. He was a keynote speaker at the summit.

The AppLink allows customers to control applications on their smartphones from the driver's seat using voice controls through Ford's SYNC voice activated connectivity system.

It will allow greater integration with a range of smartphone apps. The platform is planned to be introduced in India with ESPNcricinfo, MapmyIndia, burrp!, Glympse and TuneIn Radio though app developers are being encouraged to develop and add new applications.

Ford said there are 65m smartphone users in India. It offers claimed segment first voice control in its locally made Figo and recently launched SYNC in the new, also locally made EcoSport small crossover.

"With every step, we have allowed seamless connectivity, entertainment and convenience and are excited to take it forward with SYNC AppLink keeping our customers in mind," Ford India sales and marketing chief Vinay Piparsania said.

Ford was the only automaker at the mobile developer summit and wants to encourage local development of market specific apps.

Through its Global Developer Programme, Ford will invite software developers to create voice-activated mobile app experiences for its vehicles and will make information about the application programming interface (API) available on its developer programme website.

This site hosts online forums to discuss app development and related issues. Once submitted to Ford, an app is thoroughly tested and reviewed for usability and suitability for AppLink-enabled vehicles. After Ford agrees a distribution licence with the developer, the app can be released to customers.

"Our participation at Mobile Developer Summit in Bangalore highlights that we are a developer-focused company. We understand that a vibrant app ecosystem is essential to the success of a platform for both users and developers, said Huang.

SYNC, based on Microsoft software, is now in more than 7m vehicles and forecast to reach an additional 9m new customers worldwide by 2015.

Developers working with AppLink will be able to create apps across a wide spectrum of categories to reach this growing base of Ford owners, the automaker added.

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