• 4G LTE wireless connection through OnStar
  • AppShop with apps tailored for in-vehicle use
  • Available summer 2014 on 2015 models

Chevy drivers will soon be able to download customized apps straight into their vehicles. Delivered through a 4G LTE wireless connection, Chevrolet AppShop will offer a variety of apps optimized for in-car use. The automaker aims to give drivers access to news, information and entertainment while minimizing distracted driving. Apps from The Weather Channel, NPR, Priceline and iHeartRadio will all be available from AppShop.

Users can choose the apps they want to use, download them and arrange shortcuts on the MyLink touchscreen according to their own preferences. Alan Batey, senior vice president of Global Chevrolet, says AppShop gives users a smartphone-like experience tailored for in-vehicle use.

"(Our customers) want more choices like they have with their smartphones," said Batey. "They're telling us they want more integration, more options and more control in a safe manner."

For automakers, that means delivering smartphone functionality without overloading drivers with distractions. AppShop tackles the task in several ways. First, a dedicated 4G LTE wireless connection through OnStar allows drivers to download and use apps without relying on a mobile phone for connectivity. Second, the MyLink interface gives the driver access to app functions without handling a phone. Finally, apps optimized for in-vehicle use include limits to keep driver attention on the road.

Because safety is a priority, app functionality may differ slightly from what users experience on handheld devices. Not every function for each app will be available when the vehicle is in motion. Some functions, like those that require keyboard input, will be restricted. Others present information in a safer way. A 5-day forecast from The Weather Channel app, for example, uses an audio announcement instead of a visual display so as not to create a distraction for the driver.

One component that Chevrolet will offer through AppShop is dedicated to helping drivers take care of their vehicles. The Vehicle Health App monitors vehicle diagnostics and reminds the driver when a repair or routine maintenance is necessary. It also lets drivers schedule service at a nearby dealer.

The Chevrolet AppShop will be available this summer on MyLink-equipped Corvette, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Silverado HD and Volt models. Expect the list of available apps to grow longer as Chevy equips more vehicles with this technology.

What it means to you: There's a smartphone app for just about everything, but using one while driving is decidedly dangerous. If you depend on apps for information and entertainment, access the technology through a dedicated in-vehicle system like Chevrolet MyLink with AppShop.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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