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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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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.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10119492.stm

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
Classic.


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


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home














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