A number of automakers have shown smartwatch apps in the past year — some have even launched them — and now Ford is joining the party with Apple Watch and Android Wear apps of its own. The update for MyFord Mobile on Android and iOS adds the watch extensions, which feature remote climate control, lock and unlock, mileage, and walking directions for finding your car, among other things.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of smartwatch apps from Ford: the company teased its Apple Watch project during an April media event at its Silicon Valley research facility. It’s not surprising to see something like this make the leap from R&D to production so quickly — car companies are keen to look tech-forward lately after missing the smartphone revolution’s formative years. (And by all appearances, the next couple decades of the industry are going to be defined by technology, between autonomous driving, electric drivetrains, and connected car platforms.)
But there’s a catch: the apps are only for Ford’s electric and plug-in hybrid models, meaning the C-MAX Energi, the Focus Electric, and the Fusion Energi. (The watch apps can read out battery range and charging status, conveniently.) There’s no word on whether they’ll eventually roll out to Ford’s full line-up, but there’s at least one really good reason that it’s restricted to the electrified models — they’re equipped with cellular modems, whereas Ford’s broader range generally isn’t. For the watch’s remote functionality to work, you need connectivity. If you’ve got one of those models, though, the updates should be available now.