Print 50 comment(s) - last by Cru.. on May 20 at 12:54 PM

Apple won't let Ford in its circle of trust until 2011, when it will grant Ford a special chip to put in its vehicles to let them talk to the iPhone.   (Source: Universal Studios/Dreamworks)

Those who don't want to wait for a year can simply buy a phone from market leaders Google (Android) or RIM (BlackBerry).  (Source: HTC)
Fortunately market leaders Google and RIM are much more open

We knew that Apple was really into a closed box approach when it came to the iPhone, but we didn't realize it was this closed.  At a Ford Fiesta press event, Ford engineers confirmed that the upcoming MyFord Touch -- the latest version of SYNC won't interface with the iPhone for a full year.

Apparently Research in Motion (makers of the Blackberry) and Google (makers of the Android OS) both embraced Ford's recently announced AppLink initiative, which allows smartphone apps to link to the car and be controlled by the same controls as the primary SYNC platform.

Working with engineers at RIM and Google, Ford has developed to separate APIs, which app developers can use to quickly get their apps working with MyTouch.  Ford engineers tell us that Pandora, the popular internet radio service, got their app fully Ford-ready in only 3 days on the Android platform.

So what about the iPhone, the third-place player in the U.S. market?  Well, support for the iPhone won't come for a full year more (till the 2012 model year).  When pressed for more info, Ford's engineers revealed to us that this was because Apple was requiring it to install special computer chips in-vehicle to let the MyTouch system know that it was dealing with "trusted apps".

Despite having fully working demos, Apple won't let Ford into its circle of trust until the vehicles get the special authentication chips.  

In our analysis piece on why the iPhone recently fell behind Android (unless  you follow Apple's logic and count the iPod Touch as a phone), we discussed that one key problem for Apple is its lack of openness when it comes to apps. 

It's disappointing that while Android and BlackBerry owners will get to be enjoying internet radio and more in their SYNC and MyFord Touch vehicles, Apple is leaving its customers in the dark for some time.  When it comes to AppLink there's not an app for that on the iPhone and there won't be one for some time, thanks to Apple's circle of trust.

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Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By iFX on 5/12/2010 5:48:55 PM , Rating: 5
The list is so big by now it's a wonder anyone considers them at all.

By Mojo the Monkey on 5/12/2010 6:15:03 PM , Rating: 3
Its smaller for those who dont spend their lunch breaks reading tech news. They dont know/care about this stuff.

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By iFX on 5/12/2010 6:27:18 PM , Rating: 3
You think non-technical consumers won't care about this? They'll probably care the MOST.

By Mojo the Monkey on 5/12/2010 7:33:02 PM , Rating: 5
No, I mean to say that they wont care WHY these cars arent compatible. Their level of understanding will start and stop with "It is/isnt iphone compatible." They wont look into or care about the history of the why .

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By tastyratz on 5/14/2010 11:26:03 AM , Rating: 3
nope they wont care.
Although I do find it funny because they want their proprietary security chips in a glorified bluetooth remote control. Doesn't pairing itself act as a form of security?
Plus how would the sync allow you to do something on the iphone you couldn't before? I suppose I just don't see the necessity of this EVEN IF it was to do what they claim.

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By sebmel on 5/19/2010 11:00:16 AM , Rating: 2
"Doesn't pairing itself act as a form of security?"

No it doesn't. The Google Android app addition process is unregulated and open to malware.

" Apple was requiring it to install special computer chips in-vehicle to let the MyTouch system know that it was dealing with "trusted apps"."

So this is a security issue then... is that right, Mick? Apple wants to get some chip based authentication into a car so that if can be sure that apps loaded up into the car's system have been through Apple's approval system to weed out malware.

And that's bad? That's 'closed'?

I did read your article right, didn't I Mick?

Today we get an article, from the rather more reliable BBC, entitled: "Hack attacks mounted on car control systems" in which researchers talk about being able to take over car controls, such as braking.

"As cars, and everything else in life up to and including even pacemakers or fridges, become steadily more connected and externally accessible, research such as this should be taken increasingly seriously by manufacturers" says one quote in the article. "This represents an opportunity to head off a problem before it starts, in the not-too-distant future it may represent a real risk to life."

But for joker Mick, Apple's responsible attitude is nothing other than another opportunity to misrepresent and troll for clicks.

According to a report at Gizmodo, Google has no app authentication/malware exclusion mechanism sorted out for the Android OS... which, naturally, the Mick applauds.

By Cru on 5/20/2010 12:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
Hang on.. Why I've got a whole bag of security in Florida to sell you, just give me all the time on your hands.

I mean.. it's not like someone will be able to hack authentication... right? ...right?

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By sxr7171 on 5/13/2010 11:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
No they'll wait until Apple has the feature. That's how they are. There are many features that have been in smartphones for many years (ie. voice dial, tethering, front camera/video chat/video calling, copy/paste among others) that Apple customers don't use until Apple supports it.

By zonkie on 5/14/2010 12:19:06 AM , Rating: 2
If it doesn't have special computer chips. You blew it!

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By JediJeb on 5/12/2010 6:29:46 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, it's the ones that spend all day sliding their fingers across the screen while not paying attention to anything else around them that keep buying the iStuff.

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By Snow01 on 5/13/2010 5:07:00 AM , Rating: 3
I would really like to see Ford tell Apple to shove it. And then put in print in their manuals and info pamphlets why it's not iphone compatible.

That will never happen, as iphone compatibility would be an additional selling point. But it'd be nice to see someone take a stand against this bs.

By Cru on 5/20/2010 12:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
Like Hulu.

RE: Just one more reason to avoid Apple products.
By amanojaku on 5/12/2010 6:22:04 PM , Rating: 5
William Ford: What of the Developers? If the Developers have obtained a complete technical reading of SYNC, it is possible, however unlikely, they might find a weakness and exploit it.

Steve Jobs: The plans you refer to will soon be back in our hands.

Alan Mulally: Any attack made by the developers against SYNC would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. SYNC is now the ultimate power in the automotive industry. I suggest we use it.

Steve Jobs: Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to voice command multiple devices is insignificant next to the power of the RDF.

Alan Mulally: Don't try to frighten us with your marketing ways, Lord Jobs. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion has not helped you conjure up significant market share, or given you clairvoyance enough to find the Developers' hidden code repository...

[Jobs makes a pinching motion and Mulally starts choking]

Steve Jobs: I find your lack of faith disturbing.

By rdawise on 5/13/2010 12:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
+9,999 for the Star Wars reference!

By ApfDaMan on 5/13/2010 1:13:24 AM , Rating: 2

By Revlemmon on 5/13/2010 2:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Man I would rate you up if I could.

Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By sviola on 5/12/2010 5:01:40 PM , Rating: 5
If I was to take the decision in Ford, I wouldn't add the chip...afterall, people don't buy cars based on what phone they have, but they may choose the phone based on what can work with their car..

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By Freddo on 5/12/2010 5:28:05 PM , Rating: 3
Totally agree there. Ford shouldn't accept this bullshit.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By kake on 5/12/2010 5:29:12 PM , Rating: 4
I was going to agree with you, until I remembered how many people out there just don't think.

"Hey honey, it costs ten grand more, gets five mpg less and looks like a turd but it works with our iPhones!"

"Let's get two!"

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By XZerg on 5/12/2010 6:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
As I mentioned previously in the Adobe vs Apple case, it is not in the best interest of Ford to not milk the owners of iPhones and iPods and iPads and iApple$hits. Add the damn chip, charge extra $1000 for it and voila you now have added more customer base interested in your vehicles and on top you make money. 85Million customers have these iApple$hits, even if you get 0.01% as in 8500 customers. Multiply that by $1000 for the extra chip and you have $8.5 million extra revenue.

Never a good business plan to ignore any bands of customers so long as you can make money off of them, especially those who are more than willing to splash $$$ brainlessly.

By Alexstarfire on 5/12/2010 7:12:46 PM , Rating: 2
Your numbers are way off, but other than that.... good try. Looking at the short run for everything will get you screwed in the end.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By ekv on 5/13/2010 1:25:01 AM , Rating: 4
it is not in the best interest of Ford to not milk the owners of iPhones
Wow, the double negative has me reeling 8)

If you're saying what I think you're saying, which is to say I think you're saying that Ford is saying to Apple ... oh crap, I forgot what I was going to say. Anyway, isn't it a nice day. Seen the latest (Andrew) Klaven on Culture?

Wait, I just remembered, Ford has an interesting little market going here and Apple stands to fall behind badly if they don't jump on the bandwagon. Badly. Google AND Microsoft?! Ford's with SYNC are selling quite well, thank you very much. And frankly, if Apple is going to be dumb enough to ignore bands of Ford customers -- and I've known a few Ford loyalists -- then tough on Apple.

Is SYNC in F-150's yet? If so, look out.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By Smilin on 5/13/2010 4:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
it might be, double check.

Last I looked into it you could have sync added to a range of existing vehicles for like $250 or so.

I was checking out some Mustangs at Carmax and the car I wanted didn't have it...I found it could be added.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By cfaalm on 5/13/2010 4:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
They could offer it as an option so all people without iStuff don't have to deal with the extra costs: iCertified = $ 500 or so. Let the iPeople pay for their own stuff. People with RTM, Android, Symbyan, W7mobile etc. please ignore, your phone is already compatible.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By rudy on 5/13/2010 2:25:16 AM , Rating: 5
You have not met mac heads yes they will buy cars based on their phone.

RE: Ford shouldn't give in for Apple
By BB33 on 5/13/2010 1:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ford should offer this as a dealer installed option for say $100. This would work great for those that buy a car based on the phone they have or are planning to get. And would not hurt ford sales due to apple being annal retentive.

Ford Sync with Ipod Touch
By PitbulI on 5/13/2010 8:35:10 AM , Rating: 3
I own a new 2010 Ford vehicle with Sync. I will no longer plug my ipod into it as the voice command doesn't work very well with the ipod, doesn't recognize all the songs.

I put all my music on a usb flash drive and wow, Sync will recognize every song on it.

It's apple that's being too restrictive here. Hail Microsoft and their awesome Sync.

And for those who are against Ford, wow, I went from a different make of vehicle to Ford and I'm impressed.

RE: Ford Sync with Ipod Touch
By Smilin on 5/14/2010 3:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
I swore off Ford *decades* ago. I wouldn't even look at them. Safety issues (64.5mustang, pinto, rollovers etc), quality issues, fuel efficiency, and styling all sucked.

I gotta say though they are back on the list. They have their collective shat together now and I'll be considering them for my next vehicles.

Sync Rocks too.

short-sighted idiots
By wvh on 5/12/2010 7:42:27 PM , Rating: 3
Why are people so keen to support such closed platforms?

My Way or NO-WAY
By satveeraj on 5/12/2010 11:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously Apple wants everyone to adhere to everything their way, they are so closed within their App circle no wonder Android seems to be busting their chops lately. I am no Android user but honestly every tech-savvy users (sheeple not included) knows when some tech company is just asking for blood and money.

DRM Strikes Again
By gduzan on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: DRM Strikes Again
By JasonMick on 5/12/2010 5:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
It is likely that Apple has contractual obligations with content owners not to expose their DRM-protected data to untrusted devices. It would be a support nightmare to enable the interface for non-DRM media, but disable it for DRM-protected media, so it makes sense for them to wait for a trusted interface to be certified before enabling it.

Huh? This has nothing to do with DRM. This isn't about music. AFAIK, the iDevice family can happily interface with SYNC when it comes to music.

What it won't be able to do, though, is allow APPS to interface with the vehicle. Equally, retarded, but very different problem.

Android and BlackBerry, though will soon have a host of custom apps ready to work with Ford vehicles, though.

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By icrf on 5/12/2010 5:38:07 PM , Rating: 2
So is this about making sure jailbroken iPhones don't work?

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By JasonMick on 5/12/2010 6:05:53 PM , Rating: 3
I would assume so. I can't see any other reason why Apple would be doing this.

I guess all iPhone owners get to suffer because of Apple's crusade against the jailbreakers. And it's not like they won't figure out how to circumvent Apple's locks within a few days of the vehicles' release.

Time to get a different phone?

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By daveinternets on 5/12/2010 6:43:42 PM , Rating: 3
My gut leans more toward that fact that Sync is by Microsoft.

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By jvillaro on 5/12/10, Rating: 0
RE: DRM Strikes Again
By SpinCircle on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
RE: DRM Strikes Again
By xpax on 5/12/2010 6:26:51 PM , Rating: 5
Context is everything. In this particular context, it was inappropriate. Now, say it were used to describe Apple customers -- that would be not only be fine, but probably unavoidable.

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By JasonMick on 5/12/2010 6:35:14 PM , Rating: 5

Okay you can substitute "stupid", if you found my particular phrasing offensive. Or wait... maybe you'll be offended and think I'm criticizing people with lesser cognitive abilities by using the word "stupid".

Alright. Apple's actions are foolish and shortsighted. Wait. You might think that I'm making fun of people with vision impairments by using the word "shortsighted".

Alright. Apple's actions are foolish and ill-advised... well actually, you might think I'm criticizing sick people by using the word "ill".

Can we just agree that I meant "Apple is exercising poor judgment" and return to the topic at hand?

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By seamonkey79 on 5/12/2010 7:31:22 PM , Rating: 3
Correct usage

/r?'t?rd, for 1–3, 5; 'rit?rd for 4/ Show Spelled[ri-tahrd, for 1–3, 5; ree-tahrd for 4] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.
–verb (used without object)
to be delayed.

He used retarded correctly. If he had used it as a noun, that would be poor choice:

a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
Slang: Disparaging.
a mentally retarded person.
a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.

Get off the high horse and start to read English correctly. It is not all that hard, really.

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By Smilin on 5/12/2010 6:01:18 PM , Rating: 5
ooohhh kaaaayyyy...

Zune works and they have the same content owners.

MS has gone out of their way to make Sync as compatible as can possibly be. That's the real point of the technology: give it your mp3 player, phone, blu-tooth thingamabobby and it will integrate with all of them and give one nice clean voice driven interface.

Apple is just being a dick here (as usual these days).

RE: DRM Strikes Again
By wiz220 on 5/12/2010 6:50:35 PM , Rating: 3
+1 for the word "thingamabobby" ;)

This will cost Ford customers
By kpbpsw on 5/12/10, Rating: -1
By Alexstarfire on 5/12/2010 11:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
Supporting Apple will cost them Apple customers? Does not compute.

RE: This will cost Ford customers
By encia on 5/12/2010 11:20:15 PM , Rating: 3
On the topic market share, read

"Android-based Smartphones Outpaced Apple's iPhone in Q1 2010".

According to NPD, Android-based devices accounted for 28 percent of the smartphone market while smartphones running Apple's iPhone OS garnered just 21 percent of the market. Both, however, were well behind RIM which still commands 36 percent of the market

RE: This will cost Ford customers
By rudy on 5/13/2010 2:28:07 AM , Rating: 3
LOL read my post above this is cool people are going to make a $25000 decision based on a $200 device.

RE: This will cost Ford customers
By menting on 5/13/2010 1:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
you have no idea how retarded die hard fans can get.

RE: This will cost Ford customers
By Smilin on 5/13/2010 4:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
don't be so obtuse.

That $200 device may be the one difference that puts a decision over the edge.

"all other things being equal" the one that has the desired $200 feature wins.

RE: This will cost Ford customers
By Nekrik on 5/13/2010 1:50:51 PM , Rating: 1
wow, anyone making decisions like that for their siblings based on their blind allegiance to Apple is just, well, it's sad.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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