Automakers change game by opening door to mobile applications

General Motors and Ford took a page out of Apple’s book, or smartphone, when at January’s Consumer Electronics Show they invited outside software developers to create applications for their vehicles.

The consumer electronics giant keeps 30 percent of app sales and gives 70 percent back to developers.

The decision by GM and Ford to ask app makers to help was symbolically significant: It recognized that vehicles can be better with the help of software, and that software will be more creative if done by independent developers.

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