jacAPPS Chosen To Support Ford Developer Program; Debuts Mobile Apps For Greater Media Stations
Gives Stations Presence On Connected Cars' Dashboards
January 7, 2013 at 4:36 PM (PT)
THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY announced TODAY (1/7) at the 2013 International CES in LAS VEGAS that MICHIGAN-based jacAPPS will be the recommended mobile app development house for their new FORD DEVELOPER PROGRAM. jacAPPS has been chosen to provide development and technical support to third party developers wanting to create voice-activated smartphone apps for FORD SYNC© APPLINK.
Using SYNC© voice commands along with steering wheel and radio buttons, drivers can enjoy a live audio stream or their favorite podcasts from within the mobile app. This is a significant breakthrough for the radio industry that will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle's digital screen. Recognizing that radio's leading mobile app developer was in their own backyard, discussions between FORD and jacAPPS began in mid-2012.
This move assures that individual radio stations can claim real estate and presence on the dashboards of 'connected cars.'
This move assures that individual radio stations can claim real estate and presence on the dashboards of "connected cars." Beginning TODAY, owners of Ford SYNC© APPLINK enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS' extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services.
jacAPPS Vice President/General Manager PAUL JACOBS noted, "Because of our experience in the radio space, combined with our shared history as DETROIT-based companies, a natural partnership quickly developed. From there, identifying a radio partner for our announcement was an easy call.
"GREATER MEDIA, (with stations live in the iTuNES APP STORE and GOOGLE PLAY market), has iconic radio stations here in DETROIT -- WRIF, WCSX, and WMGC -- as well as great radio brands in PHILADELPHIA (WMMR, WMGK, WBEN, THE FANATIC), BOSTON (WROR, WBOS, WMJX, WKLB, 96.9 FM), CHARLOTTE (WBT-A, WLNK), and NEW JERSEY (WDHA, WRAT) -- and was the obvious choice."
And, jacAPPS President FRED JACOBS observed, "This is a major breakthrough for the radio industry. Radio and cars are like peanut butter and jelly -- always connected. We will now be able to take mobile applications and provide code to allow them to be fully integrated with SYNC© APPLINK, gain important real estate on the cars' screen, voice command functionality, and more. This gives radio stations an important piece of digital real estate in the one area where the lion's share of listening takes place -- the car."
GREATER MEDIA Chairman & CEO PETER SMYTH added, "We are thrilled that our radio stations will be easy to find, conveniently-connected and seamlessly voice-controlled in Ford SYNC© AppLink equipped cars. We anticipate being an integral part of the connected car and offering added functionality to our heritage brands."
jacAPPS will provide support for all developers interested in integrating their apps with the SYNC© AppLink system for voice commands and other functionality. "We have been training and testing apps on the system for several months and we're available to help the radio industry and all mobile app developers become major players on the connected car dashboard."
"Listeners today still have favorite radio stations, but thanks to smartphones and mobile broadband, they are no longer tethered to traditional radios," said GREATER MEDIA INTERACTIVE SVP TOM BENDER. "With our new apps, users can listen to a live stream of the same programming being transmitted over the airwaves or listen to on-demand content like interviews or favorite shows."
At the CES announcement, FORD touted the new services and customization capabilities offered by the developer program. JULIUS MARCHWICKI of FORD's Connected Services Solutions division said that the company had made it as easy as possible for developers to work with the program, with all the required documents and information being available at the program's website. He added that any apps that display video or require text reading or offer game play while connected to the car will be denied. CETECOM has been selected as FORD's testing partner for the program, which is being offered license-free and royalty-free.
DOUG VANDAGENS of the Connected Services Solutions announced several new apps for SYNC, including AMAZON CLOUD PLAYER, which will allow users to access their music from the cloud via voice commands; THE WALL STREET JOURNAL's WSJ LIVE; USA TODAY (stories "read to (drivers) by real people"); AHA RADIO; RHAPSODY; audio newsstand app KALIKI; traffic app GLYMPSE, which offers drivers a way to find others on the road and report their whereabouts; and the aforementioned cluster of sixteen GREATER MEDIA station apps.
Also on hand at the FORD CES event were representatives from SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge winners ROXIMITY and BECOUPLY, the latter of which announced the release of its new iPhpne app TOMORROW (1/8).