Jan 13 AT 5:52 PM Nick Gray 22 Comments

Hands-on with the Chevy MyLink by LG (update: now with video)

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Smartphones can now do pretty much anything you want, but what if you could have the power of Android mounted in the dashboard of your car? Yes, we’ve seen solutions from Parot and other OEMs which have Android-powered, in-dash, car audio systems, but none of them have been too impressive since no one has been able to deliver a UI which is intuitive and simple enough for consumers to use. This year LG unveiled the new Chevy MyLink at CES which marries a Windows CE powered in-dash 7-inch (800 x 480) entertainment unit with your favorite smartphone. The LG made MyLink to be paired via Bluetooth with Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices and run apps which have been updated to work specifically with the in-dash unit.

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For now, there are only two Android applications which are compatible with the MyLink but we should see quite a few more pop up once the unit is made available in Q1 on Chevy cars across the country. While LG is the manufacturer of the device, Chevy will have complete control over which applications are approved with MyLink since certain DOT regulations must be taken into account. LG does not yet know what Chevy will be charging for the MyLink, but we can’t imagine it will be cheap. The one thing that automotive manufacturers are really good at is charging consumers 3-5 times more for electronic add-ons than what the devices are actually worth. The Chevy MyLink may not be the true Android experience that many of us would like to see in our vehicles, but we’re excited to see a large company like LG offer up a product like this which can take advantage of the advanced funtionality found in our Android-powered phones.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    Interesting. I LOVE the work that many people do and the effort put into these types of things. HOWEVER… they seem to always screw them up.

    Hope I have to eat my words this time!

  • spazby

    just put a damn opening in a car that, with a special adapter, would accept any tablet from 5 to 11 inches….

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      All you really want is a custom mount that hold your tablet that could go over your stock stereo and a bluetooth connection so that you can use your car’s speakers and amp system. It can be done already for less than $50, but they you run into the issue of some breaking into your car and stealing your tablet if you happen to forget it in the car.

      • spazby

        I was thinking of more “elegant solution” where it is built in to the dashboard as opposed to having a mount, and a cable for charging, etc…

        • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

          The tough part is that Android tablets are all shaped differently and some have the charging port on different sides and such. I imagine it would have to be a gigantic opening and hard to make it elegant.

        • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

          the issue is that car manufacturers still can’t come up with a standard for a size for an in dash unIt

          • Jonnyw2k

            Uhmmm I think they have:

            International standard ISO 7736 defines a standard size for car audio head units.
            The standard was originally established by the German standards body Deutsches Institut für Normung as DIN 75490, and is therefore commonly referred to as the “DIN car radio size”. It was adopted as an international standard in 1984.

          • incrediblecub

            Correct, unlike the other guest that applied to you, they have not created a single standard for the size of an OEM headunit, there are many different due to the sizes and styles of the vehicles they go in. Some require seperate components in seperate holes.

          • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

            @Jonnyw2k OK, yes there is a standard size for a double DIN or single DIN unit, most car manufacturers don’t actually use that size for the stereo units that they pre-install into their vehicles. If you want to go to Best Buy and buy your own unit, you’ll most likely have to purchase a custom mount for your specific car to make your new unit fit.

            This is a fairly easy process since all the units you buy at BB are single or double DIN sized units, but when was the last time you say two tablets that were exactly the same size?

        • Futureboy

          Just do it yourself!

          This guy put a 7″ tablet in the dash of his Nissan Juke. The video has a link to instructions. Granted, you have to have the space in your dash to do it, but I think we can all agree that though the MyLink interface looks better than most, the full Android experience is far better than some watered down version.

          • epps720

            Color me impressed!! That is awesome, can you install one in my car it’s way too complicated for me.

  • NoRootNoFun

    Maybe if Google continues its self-driving cars, we’ll see something like a “google-experience car” with stock android controlling the whole car from airbags to seat heating and a NFC-powered central locking :D

  • ron

    iphone$ better

  • Chrisbox

    Would like to a kind of all purpose touchscreen that will allow docking with any smartphone/tablet. Everything you need is already on your device- navigation, music, vids and the like. A touch screen that mirrors my smartphone in the car… No one sees the usefulness in that?

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      And your actual smartphone or tablet can be docked inside a compartment that is hidden from outside, and you can recharge it at the same time.

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      What you want is a screen which uses Qualcomm’s new WiFi display technology which will be built into all Snapdragon S4 chips. All you need is a phone that used WiFi display and a compatible screen mounted in your car and it will mirror your phone.

      The next thing that’s needed is an app that have a more intuitive UI for the car and you’re all set.

      http://androidandme.com/2012/01/news/first-android-devices-with-wi-fi-display-will-be-powered-by-qualcomms-snapdragon/

  • OmahaDZL

    Id hope that the mod community figures out how to root this bad boy, then use some sort of a bluetooth teather…..and not pay for that nonsense…

    • http://htcsource.com Nick Gray

      No one said anything about paying to use the device or apps. I’m sure Chevy will have a little market to download and manage apps, but there was no mention by LG about a monthly service fee. The system already syncs up to your smartphone via bluetooth and uses your phone to actually run all the data needed for the apps.

  • jayfire2620

    The new 2013 Chevy Malibu that is supposed to be coming out in the next month or so is supposed to have this in it. From the pics and video online I saw it will have a flip up screen with a storage compartment behnd the screen. One site said the compartment has a “Powermat” in it for wireless charging but a pic I saw also shows a wire hooked to the phone also so guessing usb plug also in compartment? So it should have the out of site compartment which look big enough for a 5″ tab if not a 7″ if its fit angled, with charging, and bluetooth and guessing the simple aux plug too.

    • jayfire2620

      I was looking for a link to show the compartment and it looks smaller than I remembered, guessing maybe a 5″ Galaxy tab and smaller?

  • Taylor

    I see only 2 problems… Chevy and Windows CE. Pass.

  • lokidokie

    The more I learn about it, the less I like it!
    Let me slip that new ASUS 7 incher into the dash