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Monday, February 1, 2016

Will AppLink Become The Third Competitor After CarPlay & Android Auto?

It's not long before Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto become standard features in new cars. But before the car infotainment business becomes a true duopoly, there may be a third competitor entering the playing field.

The technology is called AppLink, a version of the open source platform SmartDeviceLink (SDL). Among other things, adopting the technology are automaker giants Ford and Toyota.


According to Ford's developer site, SDL is an open-source POSIX-compliant technology platform. The technology allows any OEM and/or Tier1 suppliers to connect vehicle infotainment systems to third party enabled applications.

These systems can communicate with any mobile device such as iOS and Android. Being cross-platform gives it an advantage over CarPlay and Android Auto.

Ford and AppLink

Ford has already announced plans to integrate AppLink with its SYNC technology and also CarPlay and Android Auto in all 2017 model vehicles. The new SYNC system is simply called SYNC AppLink.

The transition from SYNC 3 to Sync AppLink will happen gradually for existing vehicles via software updates.

SYNC AppLink currently supports six third party applications.

Third Party Apps

AppLink includes support for these apps: Eventseeker, Cityseeker, AAA, CAA, Concur, Tencent Chelian.

Toyota's Plans

Toyota has openly claimed it won't be bringing CarPlay or Android Auto to its vehicles anytime soon. There could be many reasons for that among Toyota's reluctance to allow tech companies like Apple and Google to control the dashboard. The automaker has also claimed safety as being a concern too.

The alternative to CarPlay and Android Auto, according to Toyota, will be their very own software built using SDL. The software can be provided to all existing customers and future ones via software updates.

Other Automakers & Aftermarket Partners

Several other automakers are testing SDL to see if they can incorporate the software system in their vehicles. Some of the big names include Honda, Mazda, Subaru and PSA Peugeot Citroen.

In the aftermarket, manufacturers like Pioneer, Delphi, Panasonic and Bosch have shown interest in the SDL platform.

All this means is although SDL isn't as widely adopted as CarPlay and Android Auto, it is definitely a platform worth keeping an eye on.

Additional info on SDL can be found here.

Source: SmartDeviceLink (Ford)

1 comment :

  1. I think Samsung have a great idea with Connect Auto.

    Not apps as such but will be interesting.


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