Ford drivers can tweet while driving with new Sync AppLink social controls

ford sync social media controls meople connector
Although texting, tweeting, and even handling your cell phone while driving can be unsafe, and is even illegal in many states, the addition of social media controls on Ford’s Sync AppLink connectivity system could be what’s necessary for safely and legally managing our social accounts while driving.

The app Meople.Connector is behind the new controls that allow Ford drivers to manage their social media accounts on (so far) Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Russian-language network VK (formerly VKontakte). The app, for iOS or Android, alerts you of a message, and using voice commands allows you to read, respond to, or skip the message. If you choose to respond, predetermined customizable messages are available. You can also select how often you want to receive updates, and if you need to, share your location via the app’s settings.

The Sync AppLink System already covers a broad range of useful voice-activated services such as Pandora, NPR News, Roald Dahl Audiobooks, Cityseeker, and SYNC Destinations. In a Computer Weekly article, Don Butler, executive director at Ford, says, “For many people today, social media is fundamental to staying up-to-date and informed. By adding further news and personal communications, we are helping to ensure customers can stay seamlessly connected throughout their day in a safe and stress-free way.”

The ability to communicate and socialize safely and legally is increasingly becoming a feature important to drivers. According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2015, online and social media resources are the primary news source for 43 percent of people in the U.S. In a study by GlobalWebIndex earlier this year, 41 percent use social media simply to fill up spare time. With average commute times in the country ranging from 45 minutes to over an hour, it seems that one of the best times to catch up with the news or just fill spare time could be while we are behind the wheel. This isn’t the first time Ford has built some sort of Twitter support into its Sync system, but it’s the first time that drivers will have two-way voice interaction with the social network, instead of just passively listening to the latest tweets.

Cars

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Photography

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.
Gaming

The best zombie games of all time, from Resident Evil to The Last of Us

Zombies are a longtime media staple, from movies to literature to TV to video games. Plenty of zombie games are bland and boring, but a good number offer tangible reasons to care about the undead. These are the best zombie games.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Photography

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Photography

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.