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
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
piece on why the iPhone recently
fell behind Android (unless you follow Apple's logic
the iPod Touch as a phone), we discussed that one key problem for
Apple is its lack of openness when it comes to apps.
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
app for that on the iPhone and there won't be one for some time,
thanks to Apple's circle of trust.
quote: 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.