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Ford to Offer Smartphone-Based In-Vehicle Navigation

With more and more consumers switching over to GPS-equipped smartphones, forking over a massive premium for an expensive onboard navigation system can seem a bit unnecessary.

On the other hand, having a navigation system built into a car makes things a little bit easier than using your smartphone while driving. Hoping to address these two issues, Ford has announced a new, affordable way to get convenient, turn-by-turn vehicle navigation into your car.

Last week, Ford's navigation provider TeleNav announced a new Android-friendly edition of its Scout navigation app.

Now, if you have a Ford vehicle equipped with the AppLink system, the Scout app will automatically connect to the vehicle, turning the dash into a scaled-down version of an onboard navigation system. The current update only works for Android phones on the Verizon, AT&T and Sprint networks, but TeleNav says T-Mobile support will be available shortly.

Of course, you won't be getting all of the perks of a standard onboard navigation system, but the AppLink screen will be able to provide basic route instructions and even give you voice commands. This could also be a good thing, seeing as how you won't have any big interactive maps to distract your eyes from the road. The Scout app will also synchronize with the AppLink's voice command system, allowing you to easily access preset destinations from your phone or search online for points of interest using your smartphone's data connection.

Unfortunately, you'll have to sign up for a $25 annual subscription fee to use the Scout's Car Connect feature. Another option is to pay $5 each month with the month-by-month model. But either way, it's a whole lot cheaper than upgrading to a factory installed onboard navigation system.


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