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Chevrolet ups the apps for MyLink infotainment system

Mon, 06 Jan 2014

Soon owners of new Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Volt, and Silverado will be able to download a range of different apps directly to their vehicles through MyLink. This will be made possible by General Motors' deployment of high-speed 4G LTE connectivity through OnStar, which will allow software to be downloaded directly to the car's infotainment system. Owners will be able to select and download apps though the Chevrolet AppShop, which will be accessible through an icon on the MyLink screen.

So what'll be on the menu once AppShop launches? This week at the International CES (aka Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Chevrolet gave us a taste. First and foremost, there is the Vehicle Health App that will provide on-demand diagnostic reports and maintenance notifications, in addition to appointment scheduling and a dealer-find service. iHeartRadio will be available soon with instant access to more than 1,500 of the country's most popular live radio stations. The app will offer a hotel booking service, with more than 200,000 hotels to choose from. Slacker Radio will offer an Internet radio service with more than 13 million songs to chose from. Cityseeker will provide information on restaurants, shopping, and local attractions based on the car's location.

One of the most popular apps may turn out to be Glympse, a person-to-person location sharing service that displays the locations of linked cars on a vehicle's navigation system in real time. This appears to be a promising app, and we're a little surprised that something like this hasn't appeared on the market sooner.

Users will be able to download apps directly to their cars' MyLink infotainment system.

"We listen to our customers, and they want more choices like they have with their smartphones,” said Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet. "They're telling us they want more integration, more options, and more control in a safe manner. Chevrolet AppShop is an in-vehicle information resource that allows our drivers to customize and refine their experiences from their Chevrolet."

The goal of MyLink apps is to reduce drivers' reliance on their phones, and thus reduce distracted driving. Through the availability of apps on a car's infotainment system, Chevrolet hopes to offer an alternative to using one's phone for music, navigation, and communication while driving. Whether MyLink and AppShop end up working that way or the other way around remains to be seen.

By Jay Ramey