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Ford Launches New SmartDeviceLink Developer Tool

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Ford on Friday announced a new program as part of the ongoing development of SmartDeviceLink—, which was built in collaboration with other automakers including the Toyota Motor Corporation.

“We first set out to develop a way for Ford customers to access and control their favorite smartphone apps using voice commands,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services. “Now, seeing how our innovative software is serving new industry partners is very rewarding. We look forward to innovating together to keep pace with the needs and wants of consumers around the world.”

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SmartDeviceLink is the open-source software used as the foundation for Ford AppLink, which is currently available on 6 million vehicles around the world and should be available for an additional 28 million vehicles by 2020. is a new program tool that makes it easier for developers to access information necessary to build apps for AppLink.

Apps such as Pandora, Spotify, and IHeartRadio are compatible with SmartDeviceLink, and due to its device- and system-agnosticism, it is intended to come into use in markets where mobile operating systems will develop in the future. The software is maintained by Livio, a subsidiary of Ford.

“We’re focused on building the best tools to support the growing SmartDeviceLink ecosystem and promote the developer community,” said Justin Dickow, product manager for Livio. “The SmartDeviceLink developer portal is designed to increase the visibility of the software, improve the documentation process, and help developers source the information they need to create great in-car applications and experiences for consumers.”

Ford initially made AppLink available as an open-source platform in 2013, and Toyota recently announced at CES 2016 that it would be adopting SDL.

More information for automakers, developers, and drivers is available at

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