Ford introduces AppLink at CES 2013

Ford applink
Ford talks tech at CES 2013

Bluetooth connectivity is joining power windows and power locks on the list of Ford's standard features. On Monday at CES 2013, the American automotive giant announced AppLink, an open source resource for app developers.

Model years 2012 of Ford's most popular cars will feature AppLink, which will allow drivers to control smartphone apps and access media via voice commands and steering wheel controls.

The idea isn't just constant connectivity but safety, helping users keep their hands off of smartphones.

Ford applink

Not just for cups anymore

With eyes on the road and music in the cloud, a representative from Amazon was on hand to explain the integration of streaming music into Ford vehicles.

You'll also be able to get your news and have it read to you, even. USA Today announced that it would hire readers to record the latest stories. That's right, real human beings, not a robotic Siri voice, will be reading to you in your Fiesta or Focus.

The location-tracking app Glympse hopes to put an end to those annoying, "are you here yet?" texts that drivers often get. Drivers will be able to email a link that provides live location tracking, but only for as long as they designate.

While Ford obviously wants to please tech savvy customers, there was a focus on developers that was reminiscent of Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. "It's one thing to be customer focused, but we want to be developer focused," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford's chief technology officer.

AppLink is already in the latest versions of Ford's fastest-selling cars. The automaker hopes that going open source with its software will speed adoption of its product by both tech makers and tech users.