Siri and TuneIn Radio are indeed coming to (a couple) Chevy vehicles this year, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you consider what else Chevy is planning.
But first, we’ll focus on the now. Chevy MyLink is a system that allows you to extend your smartphone to your car’s infotainment system on the dash – you can access all of your phone’s stored media via your car. It’s found on the 2013 Chevy Spark LT and Sonic LTZ and RS, and is optional on the 2013 Sonic LS and LT. GM, the parent brand behind Chevy, is thinking a little bigger than just media, though – certain smartphone apps and features can now be used directly through the car while using MyLink. This year, that will be true for TuneIn Radio, an app that offers up upwards of 70,000 stations covering the entire globe (good luck getting around to trying all of those). It’ll also be true for Siri – you’ll be able to speak searches to your car, and receive audio feedback from your car’s speakers, without having to touch your iPhone. Another app that will work with MyLink is called BringGo, a navigation app.
From the sounds of it, the smartphone-car link that MyLink offers will be short-lived. That’s because GM intends on cutting out the smartphone middleman by encouraging the development of native apps for MyLink. They’ve released an SDK and a protocol for the submission of new apps developed just for MyLink-equipped vehicles, and announced a future app catalog. Currently, those who own MyLink vehicles are stuck with the apps that come with the vehicle initially, besides those apps that can be used with the car via a smartphone. In the future, drivers will be able to access an app catalog specifically for MyLink vehicles, and buy and download apps with no smartphone involved at all. GM has suggested TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Slacker Radio, and the Weather Channel. It’s easy to imagine that this is the start of a trend, too – it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that we’ll probably be seeing many more app stores for cars popping up in the next few years.