Having announced details surrounding its OnStar 4G LTE connectivity efforts that will bring 10th-gen OnStar hardware, General Motors has provided specific information about its in-vehicle AppShop, which GM Authority was first to report on back in 2013. The General demonstrated the Chevrolet AppShop at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), thereby embarking on the next frontier of automotive infotainment systems.
Apps in the AppShop will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more. AppShop, which will initially launch with ten apps, will become available this summer on select 2015 models in the United States and Canada equipped with MyLink infotainment systems, including the 2015 Corvette, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Volt, Silverado and Silverado HD. The store will be accessible via an icon on the MyLink screen; tapping the icon will allow owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle using built-in 4G LTE connectivity — which will be in every Chevrolet with access to the AppShop. From there, users will be able to organize, update, or delete apps from their MyLink systems as necessary.
“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.”
Outside of the immediately-obvious infotainment benefits of AppShop apps, one of GM’s main goals with the functionality is to keep the driver’s smartphone from becoming a distraction and interfering with safe driving. As such, features that require a large amount of attention — such as those that use a keyboard — will be unavailable while the vehicle is in motion, similar to the “lock out” design of a navigation system’s keyboard.
General Motors also states that even though some apps may be familiar to owners, their functionality may vary between the vehicle and a smartphone. For instance, The Weather Channel offers audible five-day forecasts to help keep the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
“At General Motors, we are trying to minimize driver distractions through the use of technology,” said Phil Abram, chief infotainment officer, GM Global Connected Consumer.
Outside of preventative safety features built into AppShop apps, General Motors vehicles also offer other features that encourage a safe driving environment, such as text-to-voice and smartphone voice pass-through integration.