Ford SYNC 3 Wireless Update Brings Apple CarPlay to 2016 Models

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Ford has brought Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support to model-year 2016 cars with the latest SYNC 3 software update. This should pretty exciting news for Ford owners who now won’t need to buy a brand new car to get a major infotainment upgrade.

How to Upgrade 2016 Ford SYNC 3 to Apple CarPlay

You can download the update via one of three different ways:

  • You can bring your car to your local Ford dealership.
  • Or download the update from this website and install it with a USB drive.
  • Or download the SYNC 3 update over the air via Wi-Fi (if you have a Wi-Fi enabled car and a Wi-Fi network).

And that last option is kind of a big deal. Not only is it convenient, it is also the first time Ford has ever offered a software update via Wi-Fi, paving the way for wireless and automated updates in the coming months and years. SYNC 3 will periodically connect to a designated Wi-Fi network to check for updates and new features, and automatically download them in the background if they’re available.

“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.”

In fact, over-the-air updates were one of the main reasons underlying Ford’s acquisition of 400 mobile engineers from Blackberry earlier this year, Techcrunch reports.

Apple CarPlay is compatible with iPhone 5 or later models running at least iOS 7.1. Android Auto requires Android 5.0 devices or higher. Unfortunately, getting Apple CarPlay support requires an upgrade to your vehicle’s USB hub, which means you’ll need to visit your dealership and likely pay a fee. Android Auto, on the other hand, seems to have no installation restrictions. That being said, it would definitely be worth the fee and a trip to the dealer to install Apple CarPlay.

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