Consumer News

Ford First for Voice-Controlled iHeartRadio Car App

iHeart Radio
Image Ford.com

Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that it is the first automobile company to enable the popular iHeartRadio app in a car using voice control.

The free integrated service allows delivers more than 800 of the nation’s most popular live broadcast and digital-only stations and user-created custom stations.

The app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store and BlackBerry App World and is coming soon to the Android Market, according to Ford.

iHeartRadio is one of the first broadcast radio apps that connect listeners through an in-car system to Facebook Timeline.

The SYNC-enabled iHeartRadio app can be accessed using voice commands for those vehicles that offer Ford SYNC with AppLink.

The number of drivers using their cell phones to listen to Internet radio in their vehicles has increased 5 percent just in the past year, according to the Arbitron & Edison study, and time spent listening to online radio has increased 49 percent in the last three years.

More than one in four of the millions of Americans who download smartphone apps admit to using those apps while driving, according to a study by Nationwide Mutual Insurance in 2010.

While using the phone to navigate through music while driving is very dangerous the iHeartRadio app, which can be accessed using steering wheel-mounted controls or SYNC’s voice commands allows the driver to use voice commands to find exactly what they want to listen to by saying “genre,” “city” or “personality” to search by type of music and location of station or host.

Users can also request “recommend stations” which are similar to the one they are currently listening to or they can set up custom stations and request “custom stations.”

Ford is launching the app at the 2012 International CES which is being held from January 10- to January 13.

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