Chevrolet Announces Android Auto, Apple CarPlay Compatibility22
When it comes to texting and driving, or generally fiddling with a mobile device while in the middle of performing the dying art of proper driving, we at GM Authority follow one simple rule: we don’t mix the two.
Alas, we appear a minority. And consumers apparently can’t help themselves with their phone addictions when it comes to being behind the wheel, as distracted driving has gone pandemic. To curb this, General Motors thinks it’s found a cure. And that cure is increased mobile phone integration with its vehicles, with two huge players from Silicon Valley: Google, with its Android Auto system, and Apple with CarPlay.
Fourteen select 2016 model-year Chevrolet vehicles will kickstart this new offering. Specifically, models with a seven-inch MyLink system. This will include the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, of which its center stack is teased in the above photo. The all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, 2016 Chevrolet Volt and 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will also enjoy the functionality.
Meanwhile, the eight-inch screen version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. Google says that Android Auto compatibility may be available on the eight-inch version of MyLink later in the 2016 model year, though testing is not finished.
The two systems offer different apps, based on their operating systems and user preferences.
For instance, Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and even podcast players.
Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay takes select iPhone features and puts them on the MyLink display that’s easier to read and access. That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps.
Side note: detailed keyboard inputs such as those demanded by the navigations apps, are disabled while the vehicle is in motion. And to keep eyes on the road, many of the functions can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, hopefully keeping the eyes of phone addicts on the road as a result.
Lastly, this endeavor will not be reserved for the United States market. As Brazil, Canada and Mexico have also been confirmed for the new integrations.
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According to the GM press release, Chevy SS didn’t make the cut for either.
That means the $13,000 Spark has better smartphone integration than the $47,000 flagship sedan.
If that angers you, I encourage you to retweet with extreme prejudice: https://twitter.com/chrisprice/status/603653525994745857
GM PR was quick to respond to my statement:
“We have not made any announcements about the SS beyond the 2015 MY.”
Still encouraging aforementioned retweet to make your voice heard loud and clear.
I wonder do these infotainment updates apply to the GMC equivalents, the Yukon and such?
They should show photos of CarPlay running on their performance cars — C7 Vette/Gen 6 Camaro, instead of the dumpy ones…
It’s cheaper to do the initial R&D on cheaper cars. 2016 Camaro was secret and the photo shots for this were probably done before the unveil.
C7 is a special beast being an old platform with Global A grafted on over it – and likely required more effort to implement.
In due time, that’ll all happen. And you can expect most or possibly all GMC platform mates to make the cut in the same model year – GM is just going to ride the PR wave and divide it into multiple announcements.
It would be nice if 2015 vehicles with MyLink will be upgradable in the not-to-distant future.
Don’t get your hopes up. GM has repeatedly claimed that hardware changes prevent MyLink software updates. Very few MyLink units have gotten generational updates.
The main problem is that MyLink today requires SPS to upgrade. That means a dealer has to do it. That means GM has to pay dealers to flash hundreds of thousands of cars – at $30 to $50 per car, each time a customer requests it.
GM really needs to implement USB flash drive updating of MyLink radios. They planned to in 2013, but killed it, as evidenced by this Google cached page that has since been scrubbed from the web: https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CtOt-O5ae14J:m.chevrolet.com/mylink-bring-your-own-media/faq/updating-mylink.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
I don’t mind paying $50 for the dealer to upgrade my car with newer software that wasn’t available when I originally purchased it. It’s an upgrade over what was offered in MY2015, so I’m not asking for a freebee.
Not to worry though – I am not getting my hopes up. It would be nice if the next gen infotainment hardware will allow for over the air software updates/fixes – maybe through an OnStar account. The sooner they could do that, the better they’d get a leg up on their competition.
The problem for GM is that it creates a customer service nightmare. You may be fine paying $50 for the upgrade… most customers will ask why it isn’t delivered via OnStar LTE.
GM has done a lot of market research on it. It creates more negative response than positive by doing that. The only fix is to implement USB flashing of the radio head unit. Which, I suspect, will roll out alongside CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sounds like the same predicament most Android phone owners are in — planned obsolescence! Meanwhile Apple offers 3 and sometimes more major operating system updates — even iPad 2 will receive iOS 9 this year! Amazing. GM could learn much from Apple! *not holding breath*
Nobody wants to use USB drives in a CAR to update the system! Over the air major OS updates for MyLink should be via the new 4G LTE system built-in!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chevy SS is not GM’s Flagship Sedan. the Impala is. Chevy SS (aka Holden Commodore) is a boutique low volume internal import from Australia with different connectivity market standards… no one buys a Chevy SS for phone integration anyways. you listen to the sweet sound of the LS3 while downshifting that 6 speed manual in the twisties while being caressed by the superlative magnetic ride control…
You’re splitting hairs to derive a distinction without a difference. The SS is Chevrolet’s halo car. That by definition can be considered a flagship.
Considering the SS is also Australia’s most popular large sedan, I suspect Holden is still validating CarPlay and Android Auto… based on GM’s response to my posting.
I was at the gmc dealer today looking at the canyons on the lot and making some final decisions. Then I get home and see this news. Guess I won’t be buying till 2016. Got a long commute and spend a lot of time in the truck so anything that improves that time is a big deal.
I pray that Android Auto comes to Cadillac vehicles too. Being forced to use CUE is probably my biggest negative about their cars.
Android is your first mistake. See my other post on the topic above.
I don’t see how the 2015 Tahoe would have that much different hardware than 2016, I imagine this will be a firmware/software update that should be possible to push to those models? If not, forget selling any more until August when 2016s are out…
So, now a customer who wants navigation has to use Google maps or Apple app through this system? That should use up most of a customers phone data plan pretty quick if they travel a lot. I still like the Bringgo app the small vehicles have as it stores the maps on your device and doesn’t use your phone’s data plan every time you want to use navigation. That’s a large reason here in Canada that internet radio in vehicles (Stitcher, Pandora, etc) have never really taken off); they use a person’s phone data and 10 gigs/mth is the cut off after which it goes into ultra slow speed. We have had a few people use it until their data warning comes on after the first week of the month.
Otherwise I like the other apps you can use, just that anything that uses a lot of data like navigation could have limited use to do limited data plans on phones.
There will still be in-vehicle navigation systems available, as well as OnStar Turn-by-Turn. For those worried about data, the cars do have 4G LTE wifi plans.
Those customers should have kept their unlimited data plans…but storing the map data locally in the vehicle is a way better solution. SD card slot or USB thumb drive would have more than enough room to cache the map data so you’re not redownloading the same map data again and again.
I thought there was a USB port on the inside of the hidden storage area behind the screen in the Tahoe – is that for software updates or just for charging/connecting your phone to the MyLink system?
In general, CarPlay and Android Auto will be better than whatever native OS the manufacturers put out because those OEM systems will be 3-4 years old by the time they come out, and people want continuity with the device they spend 10 hours a day on rather than harkening back to a Sega Dreamcast in the middle of their console…
Unlimited data in much of Canada no longer means the same thing as it used to. Now after 10 gigs of use, they still allow unlimited but it slows down to the old dial up speed so basically limited but not legally limited.
Nokia’s HERE Maps for iOS and Android offers top-tier map data (same map data GM uses), and offline mode for free.
You can expect Nokia to roll out CarPlay and Android Auto for HERE Maps on iOS and Android, before GM ships these cars.
Don’t hold your breath for updates for GM cars manufactured in recent years. GM is DOA for MyLink updates. It’s like buying an expensive iPad, locked down so that additional apps can’t be added nor even the iOS updates. And the original version doesn’t even work very well. Despite the promises of salespeople prior to the purchase. Bizarre and terribly frustrating for loyal GM vehicle owners. Terrible customer service aspect.