The Ford Motor Company has announced a software update to bring Apple’s Siri Eyes-Free to all second-generation Ford Sync equipped vehicles dating back to 2011, such as the F150 and the Ford Focus.
Drivers can access Siri Eyes-Free by long-pressing the voice recognition button on the steering wheel. While connected to a driver’s paired iPhone, motorists can make phone calls, send text messages, look up nearby Utah businesses and get directions—among other features—all without looking at their phones.
While many of these features are already included in the automaker’s own Ford Sync system—known as MyFord Touch in North America—the Ford Motor Company expects some Apple loyalists prefer to use their own digital personal assistant.
According to the official press release, the free software update “not only adds convenience but helps our customers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.” Like other MyFord updates, car-owners can download the update to a USB and then plug it into their car.
The capabilities of the new Siri Eyes-Free include text message dictations, real-time Web lookup, setting reminders and music playback. Of course, the update is only relevant for iPhone users; Android users in Utah and elsewhere will not be able to take advantage of the new features in their F150 or other post-2011 Ford vehicles.
The software update comes as a sort of compromise between Ford’s existing hands-free system and Apple’s new CarPlay interface. While Ford has expressed support for CarPlay, the company is reluctant to give up its own in-dash system, and is currently looking for the best way to integrate the two technologies.
For Ford vehicle owners from the East Coast to Utah, Apple CarPlay connectivity is still a few years down the road. But with new support for Siri Eyes-Free, F150 and Mustang owners alike can at least hear the soothing voice of Siri as they get directions to the nearest gas station.