This post was originally published on our sister site Charged.io.
Google’s automotive OS platform is about to get a huge expansion. Starting today, anyone who owns one of Ford’s 2016 vehicles with the SYNC 3 infotainment system can get a software update that will enable support for both Android Auto as well as its main rival, Apple’s Carplay.
Ford first announced in early 2016 that it would support Android Auto for its 2017 model cars equipped with SYNC 3, and that its 2016 cars with the same system would support it via a software update planned for later that year. Obviously, it took a little longer than planned for Ford to get its 2016 car fleet ready for the update, but it is now finally here.
If you own one of these cars, and if you own an device that has Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, you can get grab this update today. One way is to simply go to your local Ford dealership and have one of its service employees install the update for you. However, you can handle the update yourself in one of two different ways.
If your 2016 Ford car has Wi-Fi hardware, you can connect the vehicle to your home Wi-Fi network and download the SYNC 3 update for Android Auto to your car. I
If your 2016 Ford car has Wi-Fi hardware, you can connect the vehicle to your home Wi-Fi network and download the SYNC 3 update for Android Auto to your car. If it does not have Wi-Fi hardware, you can go to Ford’s website on your PC and download the update to a USB Flash drive, and then plug in that drive in your car to install the software.
While this move will certainly provide a huge boost for the use of Android Auto in cars, Google seems to already be slowly moving away from the platform in favor of having a full version of Android running inside cars. At this week’s Google I/O developer conference, the company revealed that Audi and Volvo are working to install Android in their future cars, which will work without the need to connect to a smartphone.