Ford is finally making Apple’s CarPlay platform available in its latest vehicles. All 2017 models sold in North America will have CarPlay installed as standard, while those with a 2016 model will be able to upgrade to CarPlay “later in the year.”
Ford was one of the first vehicle manufacturers to commit to supporting CarPlay when it was announced in 2014, but until now, the company has been very quiet about its CarPlay plans. Now it has confirmed that the 2017 Escape will be the first Ford car that comes with CarPlay installed.
The new Escape will also be the first vehicle to come with Ford’s new Sync Connect system, which gives your car LTE connectivity — but other Ford cars with Sync 3 technology will get an update that enables LTE later this year.
The Verge reports that owners of 2016 Ford cars will also have the option to upgrade their in-car entertainment systems to add CarPlay later this year, but it’s currently unclear which vehicles will be supported, how much the upgrade will cost, or what the process will be.
Ford isn’t giving up on its own AppLink platform; it has actually announced some big improvements at CES this week, which include the ability to access vehicle data through third-party apps.