back to article Making apps for touchscreen mobes? YAWN. Try a car instead

Phone app developers who fancy expanding onto car dashboards can now create programs for Ford cars, utilising the voice control and connectivity built into the vehicle through open software interfaces (APIs). Those APIs are SYNC and AppLink, which provide access to the dashboard display and buttons, and voice control, …

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"Announced examples include ....."

It's all cutting edge stuff and highly relevant to driving a car. Oh, ........

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Re: "Announced examples include ....."

Well, Glypmse is quite relevant, at least (excellent app) - but yes, the rest are completely irrelevant drivel.

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FAIL

Or they could actually fit the Focus with something useful

Like a head-up speed display reflected in the windscreen. Why don't all cars have one? It's old tech.

Frankly, touch-screen stereos frighten me; they are totally distracting as you have to use your eyes. There was a good reason that Motorola car radios in the 1970s had push button memory, rather than having to turn the tuning knob and look at a scale.

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Re: Or they could actually fit the Focus with something useful

Not just touchscreens... a silly number of car stereos have two buttons for volume, instead of a knob. The knob is safer, as it can be located by touch, and its quicker to use.

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Stop

I've an idea....

"These APIs are for vehicle drivers, and applications will therefore be limited to those appropriate to someone whose primary focus is on the road."

So an app that detects that you are pissing around with the stereo or you keep looking at it's screen to see what it's doing, at which point it goes blank and a voice shouts "Look at the bloody road you moron!" (Patent pending)

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This is not a solution

Frankly, given the standard of some drivers, some modern gadgets need *removed* from the car, not added - all the better for them to concentrate on what they supposed to be doing in the first place.

The only gadget I can imagine needs added to a car is a faraday cage to make handheld mobile use effectively useless.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is not a solution

A car is effectively a Faraday cage already so that's not going to work; for proof, see the episode of Top Gear where James Hammond sits in a Mk5 Golf being hit with 10000V in a test lab in Germany. BBC1's Saturday night schedule is proof that he lived...

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Anonymous Coward

Malware anyone?

My 2010 Fiesta's stereo talks to the car management system as it runs some of the cars menu system, (like linking the powered mirrors to the door locks or not, or showing the display in MPH or KPH), now it's not a lot of connectivity but knowing the curious minds of the hackers, and the fact these car systems have to be serviced by non IT technical mechanics I'll bet that there will be other mistakes and holes in the code that can expose other systems.

Given car bluetooth pairing is pretty easy to do, and becoming available on every new car how long before some malware is designed for a car that caused the doors to unlock on someone elses command, or ransomware that locks you out of your car until you pay a fee?

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MJI
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Personally I am happy with

Engine management. & trip computer

Gearbox

ABS/TC

Don't want linked car hifi, don't want apps.

However if I could I would have turn off ABS (low speed snow) and a gearbox lockup override

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Re: Personally I am happy with

*My* car uses the ABS to implement TCS. Turn off the one, you lose t'other. Works really well, too. I sailed past stranded SUVs in the last blizzard (though I got stuck when the snow piled up higher than my bumper in a car park, which took me an hour to get free of on account of not having a shovel and having to kick a path out with my feet.).

I can disable the TCS using a good old always-in-the-same-place button on the dash, but I never do.

GUIs in a car == more stupid than anything else I can think of.

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MJI
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Re: Personally I am happy with

I can turn off TC but not ABS, still a PTA on ice/snow at low speeds

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Meh

I already have this

I have an app in my car that reads out the news headlines.

It's my FM Radio.

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Pint

Ford pre-approval works how?

"Ford also insists that it must approve any application that wants to integrate with one of its cars before the software is submitted to the respective mobile app stores."

How on Earth will this be enforced? Especially with Android. Smells like a meaningless statement.

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Boffin

Re: Ford pre-approval works how?

Mayhaps the car phones home to check an app install is allowed or not? You need some form of network connectivity to actually get the app into the car, after all.

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Anonymous Coward

"BeCouply for instant date suggestions to throw at the chick while in your hot convertible"

Tragic!

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FAIL

Keep your eyes on the road, you idiot!

This is just another of the bone-headed ways Ford keeps finding to undermine what weak market there is for Ford vehicles.

So we add yet another set of touchy-feely doodads to our two-tonne high-speed death-trap cages, further distracting drivers' attention, so that more murder and mayhem may occur on our roadways. While they are about it, why don't they replace windscreens and side windows with solid sheet metal? Then at least when people board their Ford vehicle, they are under no illusions about paying attention to the road.

Major FAIL!

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MJI
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Devil

Car fans

Of course time for fans of other brands to get a dig in. As the owner of a GM (Russelheim) car I am supposed to.

Personally I have no idea what to buy next as GM abandoned that market segment about 5 years after Ford, unless I buy a Holden product.

R.I.P. GM V Platform.

Icon : 2 of them were red

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