Ford is updating numerous 2016 mannequin 12 months vehicles outfitted with SYNC three infotainment software program, including Android Auto and CarPlay to the automobiles with a free, over-the-air replace by way of Wi-Fi, or utilizing both USB or going by means of their supplier. The improve might be obtainable for round 800,000 automobiles in complete, giving an enormous variety of Ford automobile house owners the possibility to get huge infotainment enhancements with out having to purchase a more moderen mannequin automobile.

The OTA replace possibility can be an enormous step for Ford – it’s the corporate’s first for software program, and it’s one of many main causes that Ford not too long ago hired around 400 new mobile smartphone engineers, the corporate tells me.

For CarPlay, customers will nonetheless additionally must improve their automobile’s USB hub to make this work (which may also incur a supplier go to and a value), however for these on Android, all that’s required is a straightforward software program set up. The USB set up methodology can be quicker, however the Wi-Fi replace possibility is the beginning of the corporate’s efforts to actually enhance its OTA replace program, which might be used for safety enhancements in addition to infotainment bumps.

Even with a supplier go to and improve for CarPlay, this seems like a worthwhile factor for 2016 automobile house owners to do. CarPlay and Android Auto are enormous upgrades vs. most in-car software program, providing navigation and leisure choices that observe you out of your telephone to your automobile.

Retroactively providing this sort of factor to automobile house owners is a particular change in tone for automobile makers, since they sometimes use these sorts of issues as incentives to get individuals interested by automobile mannequin updates. However as knowledge turns into more and more essential to automakers as a enterprise, it is sensible to encourage larger in-car use of units.