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Ford will let third-party navigation apps run on cars with Sync 3

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Don't like the turn-by-turn navigation that comes as part of Ford's Sync 3 in-car system? Eventually, you're going to have other options. Today the automaker announced that a future update to its Ford AppLink software (version 3.0) will allow for the projection of moving graphics (like those necessary for nav apps) on the touchscreens in Ford cars. App developers will need to integrate the open-source SmartDeviceLink project if they want to get maps working on Ford's latest infotainment system. So whether some of the leading map apps will actually bother is an open question.

It'll also be a pretty long time until anyone's even able to use this feature. Ford says Sync 3 will initially ship with its current version of AppLink, which allows for static images only. Sometime next year is when we'll see AppLink 3.0 released, another reminder that changes in the auto industry just don't come overnight. When AppLink 3.0 goes live, it will already have one significant partner backing it: Alibaba. Ford says that AutoNavi, Alibaba’s own navigation app, will be just one example of projecting a smartphone app to your Sync 3-enabled screen. But hopefully the automaker can rally support from other developers — at least until it finally puts a date on rolling out CarPlay and Android Auto support. Once that happens, most sensible people will probably stick to Apple or Google Maps anyway.