America’s Favorite SUV Shows CarPlay Love Along With 100 Other 2016-17 Models

America's Favorite SUV Shows CarPlay Love Along With 100 Other 2016 and 2017 Models
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Many auto companies have been a little slow to adopt the likes of Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. As promised, however, Ford’s newly announced 2017 Escape will be the company’s first to finally offer CarPlay, as well as Android Auto, both through the company’s SYNC 3 Connect platform.

The Escape is Ford’s best selling SUV, and the 2017 version has reportedly entered production already, and it is currently being built in Louisville, Kentucky. Sales for the car will start in May 2016. Apple’s CarPlay is basically the company’s first attempt at really integrating the iPhone into your vehicle, and it brings the Maps, Messages, Music, and other apps that you know from the iPhone to your “infotainment” center.

If this sounds unsafe, you have no need to worry. Part of the integration is giving drivers much more voice control, as well as making buttons and controls much larger, so users can get what they need without having to take their concentration off the road.

The software is controlled by Siri as well as a car’s built-in controls, offering quick and convenient access to an iPhone’s controls.

While CarPlay is a great way to offer users a way to control their phone while keeping their eyes on the road, the Ford Escape also includes other things intended for driver safety. For example, the car also offers driver assist technology designed to help keep drivers in their lane and tech aimed at helping drivers get out of tight parking spots.

Ford first announced that it would be adding CarPlay and Android Auto to its all of its North America cars that currently have BlackBerry’s SYNC 3 platform back in January, with the first car being the Escape. Not only that, but 2016 cars that currently have SYNC 3 will be getting CarPlay and Android Auto as an update at some point later this year.


Ford also had some good news earlier in 2015 for owners of older cars, saying that a software update to the original Sync would offer Siri Eyes Free support. Cars to get Siri Eyes Free date as far back as 2011, and while the users who get it won’t have CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free is the next best thing.

Siri Eyes Free basically incorporates some of Apple’s voice-controlled features into the car, enabling users to communicate with their phones using their voice. Sure, users won’t have a display for things like GPS and showing what song is playing, but they will still be able to do things like send and receive messages and emails, and get navigation by dictation. Users can easily interact with Siri Eyes Free through buttons on the steering wheel.

The system was first introduced back in 2012, and while it hasn’t garnered much media attention, it’s a great way to interact with the iPhone while keeping your eyes on the road.

CarPlay itself is currently available in around 100 new 2016 and 2017 car models, from companies including, but not limited to, Ford, Audi, Chevrolet, Ferrari, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Porsche, Volkswagen, and so on.

One major automaker, however, has yet to announce any CarPlay or Android Auto integration. Toyota prefers to stick with its SmartDeviceLink service, which does allow users to connect their smartphones, but doesn’t have the same level of smartphone integration as products made by the companies that actually make smartphone operating systems.

Thankfully, however, you don’t have to resort to buying a new car to take advantage of CarPlay. A number of third party car stereos are available for those who are fine with replacing the stereo that already exists on their car. These third party systems are available from the likes of Pioneer, and you can even install it yourself if you have the technical know-how, or take it to a mechanic, who likely won’t charge too much to install it.

Of course, if rumors prove to be accurate, then Apple will be making other moves into the auto industry in the future. Apple is rumored to be working on a car of its own, which will be an electric and possibly even a self-driving car to rival the likes of Tesla, Google, and pretty much every other automaker in the industry, many of which are developing self-driving technology of their own.

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