2017 Ford Escape To Get First Dibs On Apple CarPlay
Popular crossover will introduce CarPlay connectivity system to Ford customersby Kirby, on
The addition of CarPlay opens up a new world of connectivity for would-be buyers of the 2017 Escape. Ford saw to that when it announced back in January 2016 that apps like CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto platform would be integrated into the automaker’s new SYNC3 infotainment system. In CarPlay’s case, iPhone users can access a gamut of useful tools and apps under Apple’s iOS software. The usual iPhone features and apps like phone calls, messages, music, maps, podcasts, and social media apps can now be accessed through the Escape’s in-dash display. Take note that all of these features will come on top of the gizmos and gadgetry already included in the SYNC3 system.
CarPlay integration also serves Ford and its customers very well as it allows users to immerse themselves into the next step of Ford’s mobility and connectivity systems. Ford didn’t give a reason as to why the 2017 Escape was chosen as the first model to get CarPlay, but a combination of segment popularity and strong sales numbers suggest that debuting on the 2017 Escape would introduce CarPlay integration into SYNC3 to a bigger segment than most of Ford’s other models. The Escape belongs to one of the most popular segments in the U.S. today, and the crossover’s strong sales numbers makes it the perfect test bed of sorts to introduce CarPlay to Ford customers. Only the F-Series pickups and the Fusion sold more units in February 2016 than the Escape.
Other Ford models are expected to receive CarPlay and Android Auto in the future, but for now, it has been decided that the 2017 Escape, which goes on sale in May 2017, will be the first in line.
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Why it matters
On the surface, these partnerships Ford struck with Apple and Google looks smooth enough, but if you dig a little deeper, it’s anything but. That’s why it’s important to give credit to Ford for not getting stuck in its own way and opting to partner with the two tech giants to integrate CarPlay and Android Auto into its own SYNC3 system, itself a Microsoft product. The truth is that Ford probably didn’t like seeing these two smartphone interfaces gain the momentum that they did. But instead of shutting them out even if they work in the same ecosystem, Ford did the right thing by actually embracing what its “rivals” have to offer, while not shooting down its own system in the process.
The technical relationship between SYNC3 and, in this case, CarPlay, is a concept that flies above my head. But what I do know is that SYNC3 still acts as the head of the household. It’s still its own system and it still has exclusive control of things like climate systems and satellite radio stations. Having CarPlay in the mix works because it can broaden its horizon and expand on the features that can be used for the system. At the very least, it doesn’t make the SYNC3 system look like a hermit in its own house.
I’m looking forward to seeing how these partnerships play out once their available on other Ford models. The automaker didn’t give a specific date, opting only to say that it’s coming “later this year.” Regardless, the level of connectivity and integration is very impressive. It goes to show that, at the very least, competition doesn’t always have to be cutthroat. You can offer the similar products, but if you can work together, you can turn both your products into something even better. That’s my hope for the SYNC3 infotainment system once CarPlay and Android Auto are fully function.
Read our full review on For Escape here.