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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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RE: DRM Strikes Again
By JasonMick (blog) 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 (blog) 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 (blog) 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.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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