Earlier this month, General Motors released GM Dev Client — a new app that gives developers the ability to test their applications written for CUE Collection or AppShop in an actual vehicle, rather than emulating them using the Software Development Kit (SDK). Since then, we have received all kinds of letters asking about GM’s app development process from developers and those curious about the app world in general. Luckily, GM has just what we were looking for — step-by-step instructions for in-vehicle app development and testing.
Phase 1: App Building
1. Visit developer.gm.com
Register, accept terms and activate your account to receive immediate access to GM’s developer site, software development kit and all documentation.
2. Download and install the NGI SDK.
Download the Next-Gen Infotainmet/ NGI SDK package source from developer.gm.com/ngi, which generally takes less than a minute, depending on internet connection speed.
Install a private node module for a quick set-up process, as familiar to front-end developers.
3. Begin building using emulated vehicle behavior.
Set up your development environment in less than 5 minutes and start utilizing the same APIs available in-vehicle.
Use a suite of tools to adjust up to nearly 400 simulated vehicle data points such as network connectivity, location, speed and more.
Phase 2: App Testing
4. Download GM Dev Client from the AppShop.
GM vehicles with compatible infotainment systems can be used for real-world testing. After providing GM with your compatible vehicle’s identification number (VIN), your app will go through GM’s internal review process for suitability. Once approved, the GM Dev Client will appear in the vehicle’s AppShop for download.
5. Begin real-world testing.
Once you download and begin running GM Dev Client, your approved app will appear on the in-vehicle infotainment screen for real-world testing. You can test right from your laptop within the car, as driver lock-out safety features are prebuilt into the GM Dev Client so that only a passenger can test the app while the vehicle is in motion.
Conduct on-the-fly code changes and see updates to your app reflected instantly.
So, there you have it: code it, test it, run it, deploy it for Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles alike.
On a related note, we don’t see any other automaker with similar app functionality on their vehicles, or the same support for developers when it comes to writing, testing, and deploying their apps. Way to stay ahead of the curve, GM.