New infotainment system supports displays up to 15.5-inch, and can show multiple apps on screen at once.
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Overnight Ford took the wraps off its new Sync 4 infotainment system, as well as a new underlying control system which supports wireless software updates to almost all of a car's computing units.

The new infotainment system has been designed to work with a new array of larger touchscreens, running from 8.0- to 15.5 inches diagonally.

On cars fitted with Ford's new 12.0- and 15.5-inch touchscreens, Sync 4 will support multiple apps on screen at the same time.

Above and top: Interface of Sync 4 on a 12.0-inch display.

For owners with a 15.5-inch display (below), the new interface will feature Adaptive Dash Cards for the most commonly used apps. These cards can, for example, show you next turn instructions, or the current song and music controls for your favourite music streaming app.

The large vertically-oriented 15.5-inch interface also incorporates on-screen controls for the climate control system.

Sync 4 will also feature wireless connectivity to both the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring standards, as well as Ford's Sync AppLink system.

Compared to the Sync 3 system, Ford says the new infotainment units will have double the processing power. This not only allows for the multitasking features described above, but also smoother scrolling and snappier performance.

Starting in 2020 Ford will begin equipping cars in the US with the Sync 4 system.

Above: Interface of Sync 4 with Adaptive Dash Cards on a 15.5-inch screen.

Over-the-air updates

Along with today's reveal of the new Sync 4 system, Ford announced it will equip "most redesigned vehicles in the US" with the ability to receive over-the-air software updates for almost all in-car systems, including the infotainment system.

The new software platform which enables this feature will be fitted not only to cars with electrified drivetrains, but also vehicles using conventional internal combustion engines.

Owners can schedule vehicle updates to occur overnight or when they are least likely to be using the car. Ford says most software upgrades will take under two minutes to complete with data downloaded either via Wi-Fi or mobile internet.

Australia

We're waiting to hear back from Ford Australia about when the new infotainment units will become available Down Under, as well as if the company intends to launch over-the-air updates for the local market.