2018 Mustang SYNC 3
Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 8, 2017
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

If you own a 2016 Mustang or other Ford and have lamented how it’s not fair that your friends with 2017 Fords have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software support built into their one year newer vehicles, well fret no more! Ford has announced that it is making Android Auto and Apple CarPlay software support available to model-year 2016 vehicles equipped with SYNC 3. That’s right; you can now use your favorite smart phone apps intuitively through the SYNC 3 interface. All you have to do is download the update via USB drive and update your vehicle to the new version 2.2 (register at owner.ford.com to keep track of SYNC updates, service work, and more). Alternatively you can take your 2016 to your dealer for the update, and for the first time Ford is offering SYNC updates via Wi-Fi automatically as well.

“Our SYNC 3 software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “With over-the-air updates, we can deliver new features to customers in the background while they continue using their vehicles.”

Android Auto

Compatible with Android devices 5.0 and higher, Android Auto brings the Android experience into the vehicle safely and easily with Google Maps, Google Play Music, phone, messaging and third party apps projected on the car's built-in display and available via voice controls. With a simplified interface, large touch targets, Google voice search and easy-to-use voice controls, Android Auto is designed to minimize distraction while on the road.

Apple CarPlay

Compatible with iPhone 5 and later models running iOS 7.1 or higher, Apple CarPlay gives iPhone users an intuitive way to make phone calls, use voice-guided navigation, listen to music, and send and receive messages while staying focused on the road. Users can control Apple CarPlay through the in-vehicle display or via Siri voice control. Apple CarPlay support requires a USB hub upgrade available through Ford dealers.

Receiving updates over Wi-Fi

Though Ford has been issuing SYNC upgrades since 2009, this is the first time the company is offering an update via Wi-Fi. In Wi-Fi-enabled vehicles with Automatic System Updates turned on within SYNC 3, the system will periodically connect to a customer’s designated Wi-Fi network to check for updates. If an update is available, the system automatically downloads the update in the background over a period of time without any customer interaction. And SYNC 3 is designed to perform the update as long as Wi-Fi is connected prior to the vehicle turning off; therefore there is no need to keep the vehicle running for the update to take place.