Ford Brings Siri Eyes Free Support to 5 Million Vehicles Dating Back to 2011

While many carmakers are starting to roll out support for Apple's CarPlay in-vehicle functionality, an older Siri Eyes Free feature is also designed to help minimize driver distraction by using Siri voice recognition and spoken responses to allow drivers to interact with an iPhone without needing to look at the screen.

Siri Eyes Free is generally activated through a hardware button on the vehicle's steering wheel and is available in a number of makes and models, and Ford today is officially announcing the launch of Eyes Free support for over five million vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year via a software update to Ford's second-generation SYNC infotainment system.

“SYNC, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Marakby, director, Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Siri Eyes-Free is another great voice-activated feature that not only adds convenience but helps our customers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

Eyes Free support actually went live two months ago with the launch of version 3.8 of the second-generation SYNC software, but Ford has apparently waited until now to make the rollout official as it has worked to apply the update to new cars coming from the factory and make it available to owners of existing vehicles.

Apple also lists Ford as one of its CarPlay partners, but the automaker has yet to announce specific plans for supporting it in upcoming vehicles. The most recent information from Ford indicates CarPlay support will be arriving "relatively soon."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago
This kind of thing is virtually unheard of. Damned good show Ford.
I can’t wait for Apple to bring 10.11 to the original Mac Pro too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
way to go Ford! Companies that realize that the new model of providing updates to keep up with technology is the future.

My BMW was useless when I drove it out the dealership. $200 a year for map updates! WtF
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
And then there is Honda.

Successfully field tested CarPlay on production hardware in customer vehicles over a year ago. The install was made via a USB stick sent to customers.

Meanwhile the CarPlay advertising shows s Honda head unit and for the last year Honda dealers encouraged customers not to wait but to buy and later install CarPlay with a firmware update.

The customers that bought this b.s. were later screwed when Honda announced they (care about current customer satisfaction and more about selling new cars) are not going to backward support vehicles in the field that have the display audio head unit on which CarPlay was successfully tested.

I'm so hoping for a class action lawsuit.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
I'm actually surprised :). I can confirm that for me they seemed to be able to force this update to your car. At least that's how my ford got its update.

I now get all my iPhone text messages through the Sync system. Some or all of the text related features are motion restricted. Meaning you can't always read them but sometimes your offered a listen option.

You must enable text messaging on the "phone" screen for this "text" feature to work.

If this promo is true in that Siri now speaks thru Sync itself is a pretty significant upgrade to a horrible interface :))). Two thumbs up for Ford...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Love this update. Took me about 30 minutes. One thing I loved about having a Windows phone was the ability to read back texts. Once I went back to iOS, I lost that feature. Ford has really stepped it up with this update. Makes me enjoy my car a little bit more.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
Siri's not even out on the Mac yet....
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...