GM brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to 2016 Chevy/GM models

sparkadndroidautoGM CEO Mary Barra announced at the Code conference in California that GM will be offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on fourteen 2016 Chevy Models. The move makes GM the first major U.S. automaker to offer the smartphone compatible systems across mainstream cars.

The fourteen Chevrolet models include the new 2016 Chevy Cruze compact car, that will arrive June 24. It is about one year, after GM was first the automaker to deploy OnStar 4G LTE across many models and the 2015 Chevy Cruze.

“It’s been a partnership of working together with the aim of creating a system where the driver is not distracted,” Barra said.

The seven-inch screen MyLink infotainment systems on the Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro and Silverado, will at first be compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto. The eight-inch version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. Android Auto which is still in testing may be available on eight-inch versions of MyLink later in the 2016 model year.

“We made the smartphone experience relative to the car. We’re taking buttons and making them larger. We’re integrating a lot of use of voice in the applications. We’re making sure that whatever happens int he car passes our distracted driving guidelines,” said Phil Abram chief infotainment officer at GM.

Models with eight-inch screens include Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro, Corvette, Colorodo, Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban. CarPlay and Android Auto will not replace the existing Chevy MyLink systems but are a part of the system. For both CarPlay and Android Auto, many features can be controlled via voice commands by a button on the steering wheel.

An icon on the MyLink changes to show that either CarPlay or Android Auto when a compatible smartphone is connected via the USB port. Android Auto requires a phone running  Android Lollipop 5.0, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later with iOS 8.

Apple CarPlay is compatible with about 82% of iPhones and allows for voice calls, sending/receiving messages and music listening from the iPhone from the touchscreen or by holding the steering wheel button and asking Siri. 

Current CarPlay apps listed include Podcasts, Beats Music, iHeart Radio, At Bat, Spotify, Stitcher, CBS Radio, Rdio and Apple Maps gives turn-by-turn directions, traffic conditions and estimated travel times. It suggests address from your contacts and calendars.

Android Auto allows for use of an Android smartphone with Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, phone calling and Google Play Music. There are some compatibility issues with Android Lollipop 5.0 models on certain carriers.

Android Auto’s first car deployment is through a software update at dealers for Hyundai Sonatas with the navigation package. Chevrolet Brazil, Mexico and Canada car owners will also have access CarPlay and Android Auto in the future.

“We’ll see more change in the last five to 10 years than we saw in the last 50,” said Barra.

Also at the conference was Apple Senior VP Jeff Williams who said “The car is the ultimate mobile device…We’re exploring a lot of different markets.”

There will be no software updates for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for pre-2016 Chevy models.

IHS Automotive forecasts for the three primary systems for 2015 and will be MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. By 2020, there are expected to be 31 million cars with Android Auto.

How to pair Bluetooth with iPhone 5-6+ for GMC and Chevy Cars

bluetoothpairGM’s Stefan Cross demonstrated how to successfully pair Bluetooth with the with Intellilink in-vehicle navigation system on a GMC Canyon for AUTO Connected Car News. If you have another GM vehicle such as Chevy you complete very similar actions for Chevy vehicles, Cadillac systems are a little different.

Here’s how to pair Bluetooth with a GMC vehicle with Intellilink.

  • Go to settings menu, Bluetooth is under Wi-Fi on the iPhone turn Bluetooth on.
  • On the Intellilink screen go to settings, tap Bluetooth pair new device.
  • The iPhone recognizes GMC Intellilink, tap GMC Intellilink.
  • Tap pair on the iPhone.
  • The GMC Intellilnk shows that it has pairing request.
  • Tap yes on the screen.

Once the iPhone is paired with the Intlellilink or Chevy system, it allows to access contacts, Siri eyes free music and more.

You can also set up Bluetooth using your voice:

  1. Press the Push to Talk button, wait for the beep, and say “Bluetooth”.
  2. The system will respond with “Bluetooth Ready”.
  3. Wait for the beep then say “Pair”.
  4. The system will respond with “Please start a search on your Bluetooth phone.
  5. Once the search is complete select “your vehicle” on your phone.”Your phone will either ask to enter a 4 digit code, which is displayed on the radio screen, or to confirm a 6 digit code
  6. The system will prompt you to give a name to your phone.Say a name that best describes your phone (example: Karen’s phone); this name will be used to indicate which phone is connected.
  7. The system will ask you to confirm your name.
  8. If you confirm that name, the system will respond with the message: “iPhone 5s Space Gray has been successfully paired”.

Every time you are in the car, it will automatically pair. You can setup multiple devices then   pick what device you want to pair. Previously, when we checked with Chevy OnStar reps they reported that many users did not have Bluetooth issues. You can call the GM infotainment call center located in the U.S. with trained experts in GM in-vehicle technology. Chevrolet, Buick and GMC customers should call 1.855.4.SUPPORT and Cadillac customers can call 1.855.4.CUE.NOW.

Those readers who are experience Bluetooth issues with iOS 8 and iPhone 5-6+ should note that Cross had not upgraded his iPhone 5S to iOS 8, when we shot the video of the GMC Canyon using Bluetooth and IntelliLink.

Various work-arounds often called the “nuke-it” fixes that sometimes work with in vehicle systems and iOS 8-8.02 problems with iPhone 4S-5-6+.

 If you are having problems with Bluetooth with in-vehicle systems and iOS 8.0-8.2.iPhone 4S/5/5C/5S/6/6+ please let us know in the comments below, be sure to note your make, model and year of your vehicle.

To show your distaste for Apple and the iOS 8 Bluetooth Bungle, you may vote for Apple for the Edsel Yugo Biggest Snafu of 2014 Tech CARS Awards.

GM Chevy OnStar open AppShop closed for remodeling

mylink-overview-connect-cnt-well-1-980x316-01At CES, GM and OnStar announced OnStar AppShop for  Chevy vehicles with the ability to book hotels on Priceline.  Chevy cars and trucks were expected to have AT&T 4G LTE by the summer, with Kaliki audio news stand.  At SXSW, the company announced Beats Music streaming would be in the Chevy AppShop while giving free rides around the festival.  However, there is a delay and the open OnStar AppShop is closed for 2015 GM car models.

Apparently, there were “quality issues” for the apps  and the AppShop will be delayed to insure  a great user experience.

GM & Chevy Dances to Beats Music at SXSW

beatsmusicChevy announced at SXSW that Beats Music streaming music will be available in the Chevy AppShop and on select Chevy models this year.

Beats Music is a streaming music service with playlist and curated music options. Chevy AppShop can be used via 4G LTE connections through OnStar 4G LTE. A free trial of Beats Music or paid subscription is required.