Chevy Adding TuneIn Radio App to MyLink Infotainment System
Lets face it, smartphones and cars are careening at each other with unmitigated inertia. The car was the must-have item of the last hundred years, and mobile technology has become that same "it" thing in the 21st century. State and federal regulators can try all they want, but drivers are becoming ever more tempted to use their smartphone while on the road. There is no stopping this trend; one can only adapt and find ways to make this integration work for both legislators and drivers. That is why we were intrigued by Chevy's MyLink technology. The system utilizes your smartphone's signal to operate a suite of approved in-car applications, including Pandora streaming music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kmA03OVUyk&feature=youtu.be According to James Bell, GM's head of consumer affairs, the writing is on the wall, and buyers have moved from caring about color or horsepower, to connectivity. "It is becoming about the integration of the information that we need throughout the day, and how much our smartphone is providing that." Bell continued, "what we're looking to do is integrate the phone into the car in a seamless and safe way." One of the more popular entertainment smartphone apps is TuneIn radio. It allows you to access seemingly endless local radio stations from anywhere. If you live in Boston, you can get your morning drive show while you're visiting Denver! General Motors recognized the power of this app and has made TuneIn the most recent addition to its MyLink app suite. Perhaps even more exciting is the Siri Eyes Free feature. If you have an iOS 6-equipped iPhone, you can access Siri by paring the phone through Bluetooth and hitting the voice-activation button. It won't give you access to EVERY iPhone feature, but you can access contact, place calls, and listen to/compose texts and several other select features. From what we've seen, this is probably the most effective interaction between iPhone and car to date.
According to Bell, the next step will to allow for the automatic updating of apps for in-car use. "When you buy a car new" explained Bell, "The car will continue to change, and it will almost give the new car feel through the life of the vehicle." We agree that allowing apps and vehicle software to automatically update throughout the life of the car will improve functionality. The next step that we would like to see is GM open up MyLink for any app developer as an open-source platform. That comes with its own issues in terms of distracted driving. In the meantime, this addition of TuneIn and access to Siri in MyLink are great first steps.
Source: General Motors