OnStar RemoteLink App
OnStar RemoteLink is a mobile app providing vehicle information and remote access functionality for GM vehicles. Features include:
- Remote vehicle start *
- Door lock/unlock
- Activate horn and lights
- Send directions to vehicle
- Locate vehicle
- Manage vehicle’s Wi-Fi Hotspot
- View Vehicle Diagnostics information
* For vehicles equipped with remote vehicle starter system
MyLink – RemoteLink Rebrand
The app was launched in the 2010 and was initially branded as OnStar MyLink. In order to not be confused with the upcoming Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, MyLink was rebranded to RemoteLink in July 2011 and continued as Version 1 until 2015.
In January 2015, the OnStar RemoteLink app received a complete redesign for Version 2.0. The new app delivered a new user interface and the ability to execute calls in the background, which Version 1 lacked.
The RemoteLink app is officially available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices. BlackBerry and Windows Phone were supported using a web applet.
Markets Outside North America
In China, GM-OnStar offers a version of the RemoteLink app simply known as OnStar App. Compared to RemoteLink, the China-market OnStar App features a different interface and modified functionality, especially when it comes to integration with third-party services.
In Europe, Brazil and select South American markets where the OnStar service is offered, the OnStar App is also offered, albeit with a modified interface and feature set.
How It Works
RemoteLink requires an active OnStar plan — whether it’s the free Basic Plan or one of the paid subscriptions. It also requires the user to download the app, create an OnStar user ID and password, and log into RemoteLink. Once all that’s done, here’s how it works:
- Running on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, RemoteLink connects to the OnStar data center using the Internet — either through a cellular network (like 3G or 4G) or through Wi-Fi.
- When a user requests a remote command (such as remote start), the app sends a signal to OnStar’s data centers (again, via the Internet)
- The data center then sends a response, which is sent to the vehicle (such as the request for remote start) over the Internet using a cellular connection. The cellular carriers vary by geography:
- In the U.S., the carrier is Verizon Wireless on vehicles without 4G and AT&T on 4G-equipped vehicles.
- In China, the carrier is China Telecom.
- Upon receiving the command from the data center, the vehicle executes it and then responds using its built-in OnStar cellular connection, sending a signal to the data center over the Internet. For instance: it has successfully executed the remote start command.
- Upon receiving the reply from the vehicle, the data center then sends a final reply, which is dispatched to the vehicle as well as the user’s device. At this point, the device shows a successful “Your Vehicle Is Now Running” or unsuccessful “Unable to start vehicle” message.
This same process is replicated for other commands, such as door lock/unlock, horn, lights, and vehicle information (such as tire pressure, gas mileage, range, etc). OnStar tells us that subsequent requests are faster than the first, since the connection to the vehicle is already open and active.
Replacement And Deprication
In June 2016, General Motors’ four North American automotive brands released new versions of their myVehicle apps such as myChevrolet, myCadillac, myBuick and myGMC, which include integrated remote access and diagnostics functionality as in OnStar RemoteLink Version 2.0.
Following the announcement, GM Authority confirmed with General Motors-OnStar Communications that the RemoteLink app has been depricated and will no longer be updated. RemoteLink will, however, remain in the Apple AppStore and Google Play “for the time being”, according to GM-OnStar.
Follow GM Authority’s coverage of OnStar RemoteLink news.