Can I add apps to my Chevy MyLink?

What is MyLink?

MyLink is the in-vehicle infotainment system developed by Chevrolet that allows access to smartphone apps and connected services. It was first introduced in 2012 and has been available across many Chevrolet models since then.

MyLink centers around a touchscreen interface that typically measures 7 or 8 inches. From the touchscreen, drivers can access entertainment features like the radio and music streaming apps, receive turn-by-turn navigation, and connect their smartphones to make calls and send messages hands-free.

MyLink acts as the hub for many of the high-tech features in modern Chevrolet vehicles. It aims to provide a simplified, user-friendly system for managing communications, navigation, and entertainment needs while driving. Key features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capability, and natural voice recognition powered by Siri or Google Assistant.

MyLink App Compatibility

One of the key features of MyLink is its compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing drivers to mirror apps from their smartphone onto the MyLink display [1]. This allows access to many popular apps while keeping your eyes on the road.

With Apple CarPlay, iPhone users can access apps like Maps, Messages, Phone, Music, Podcasts and more through the MyLink system. For Android users, Android Auto brings apps like Google Maps, Google Play Music, messaging apps and many others to the MyLink display [2].

In addition to smartphone mirroring, MyLink also has some built-in apps like Pandora that work directly through the system without needing your phone. There are entertainment apps, connectivity apps, and convenience apps designed specifically for in-car use [3].

Adding Apps to MyLink

MyLink does not allow you to directly download or add third-party apps like you would on a smartphone. However, you can mirror and access apps from a connected smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integrations.

If you have an iPhone, you can use Apple CarPlay to mirror apps like Maps, Music, Messages, and more through the MyLink display. This gives you access to your iPhone apps directly on the MyLink touchscreen.

For Android users, Android Auto serves a similar function – allowing you to access your smartphone apps through the MyLink system. Navigation, media, messaging and voice apps on your Android device can all be mirrored through MyLink using Android Auto.

So while you can’t download standalone third-party apps to MyLink, you can gain access to smartphone apps by connecting your device and utilizing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integrations. The selection of accessible apps will depend on whether you have an iPhone or Android phone.

Accessing Smartphone Apps

One of the key features of MyLink is the ability to access smartphone apps directly through the infotainment screen. There are two main ways to connect your smartphone to MyLink and access apps:

Connect Smartphone via USB or Bluetooth

To connect your smartphone, you first need to pair it with MyLink via Bluetooth. This allows basic hands-free calling and audio streaming. To access apps, you’ll also need to connect your phone via USB. This enables projection mode which mirrors your smartphone screen onto the MyLink display.

Here is a video showing how to pair an Android phone with MyLink via Bluetooth: How to Pair an Android to Chevrolet MyLink

Use Projection Mode to Access Apps

Once your phone is connected via Bluetooth and USB, you can access projection mode to view and control smartphone apps on the MyLink screen. The steps to enable projection mode differ depending on whether you have an iPhone or Android.

Apple CarPlay Integration

For iPhones, MyLink supports Apple CarPlay integration. Once connected, you can access core apps like Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, Podcasts and select third-party apps.

Android Auto Integration

For Android phones, MyLink is compatible with Android Auto. This provides access to Phone, Google Maps, Google Play Music, and messaging apps. Some third-party Android Auto apps are also available.

Apple Carplay Integration

Apple CarPlay integration allows iPhone users to access certain apps through the MyLink system. To use CarPlay, you’ll need an iPhone 5 or later model connected to the MyLink system via USB cable.

With Apple CarPlay, iPhone users can access apps like Maps, Messages, Apple Music, Podcasts and more through the MyLink display. This allows for seamless integration and control of your iPhone’s apps while keeping your eyes on the road.

According to Chevrolet’s website, Apple CarPlay is compatible with most models from 2016 and newer (source). Earlier MyLink systems will need a software update for Apple CarPlay support. With the USB connection, CarPlay brings certain apps from your iPhone onto the MyLink display for quick and easy access while driving.

Android Auto Integration

Chevy vehicles with MyLink are compatible with Android Auto starting with Android 5.0 and newer. To use Android Auto, simply connect an Android phone to the MyLink system using the USB data cable that came with the phone. This will allow the Android apps to be displayed and controlled through the MyLink touchscreen system.

Once connected, Android Auto provides access to key smartphone apps optimized for use in the car, such as Google Maps for navigation, messaging apps, and Google Play Music for streaming audio. Drivers can control these apps through the MyLink touchscreen or using voice commands. This allows them to access many of their smartphone’s features in a safer, integrated manner while driving.

According to Chevrolet, Android Auto is compatible with all MyLink systems from 2016 model year and newer Chevy vehicles. For older MyLink systems, an update may be required to enable Android Auto integration. As long as the vehicle is equipped with MyLink and the phone is running Android 5.0 or newer, Android Auto can be utilized in supported Chevy vehicles.


Built-in MyLink Apps

MyLink comes with several built-in apps that provide entertainment and information without needing a smartphone connection. Key built-in apps include Pandora for music streaming, Stitcher for podcasts, and various news and weather apps. However, the selection of built-in apps is relatively limited compared to what’s available on a smartphone.

For music, MyLink offers the Pandora app for streaming customized radio stations based on a song, artist, or genre. This allows you to access Pandora’s library of over 100,000 stations right from your vehicle’s display (source: Pandora does require an active subscription to fully utilize.

MyLink also comes with the Stitcher app for accessing podcasts across comedy, news, sports, and various other topics. This gives you a library of over 50,000 radio shows and podcasts to choose from in your vehicle (source: Stitcher does have an ad-supported free tier or paid subscription options.

For weather and news, MyLink includes various built-in apps like Weather Channel, NPR News, and iHeartRadio for accessing up-to-date forecasts and breaking news headlines. However, the selection is relatively limited compared to news and weather apps available on smartphones.

Limitations and Issues

While the MyLink system offers many benefits, there are some limitations and issues to be aware of:

The app selection is not as robust as what’s available on your smartphone. MyLink is only compatible with certain approved apps, so you won’t get access to everything on your device (1).

Some Chevy MyLink users have reported connection issues between their smartphone and the system, leading to problems like music playback stopping or touchscreen glitches (2). A weak battery can also cause the screen to freeze up or flicker.

MyLink requires a compatible smartphone to connect and access apps. iPhones and Android devices from the past several years should work, but older smartphones may not be supported.

Updating MyLink Software

Chevrolet periodically releases software updates for MyLink to add new features and functionality. These updates are available either through your local Chevrolet dealership service department or by downloading the update to a USB drive.

Keeping your MyLink system up-to-date via software updates is recommended to take advantage of the latest features and enhancements. According to Chevrolet, software updates may improve Bluetooth connectivity, add support for new apps, enhance voice recognition, and update maps and navigation information.

The most recent MyLink software version as of 2022 is 2.6.15. To check your current version, go to Settings > Software Information > System Information. Updating requires 30-60 minutes at the dealership, if bringing in a USB drive the update may take up to 2 hours.1

Overall, periodically updating the MyLink software keeps the system running smoothly and allows you to access the latest features. Checking for updates at your dealership service appointment or visiting the Chevrolet owner support site can ensure you don’t miss out on new MyLink capabilities.

The Future of MyLink

MyLink is eventually being transitioned to next-generation infotainment systems in new Chevrolet vehicles. For example, newer Chevy models may have infotainment like the Chevy Infotainment 3 system instead of MyLink (Chevrolet OnStar).

However, even with the newer infotainment systems, Chevy vehicles can still utilize smartphone projection through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So drivers can still access smartphone apps seamlessly in the vehicle, just through a different infotainment interface (Car and Driver).

While the MyLink name and interface may eventually fade away, the functionality of accessing smartphone apps, navigation, entertainment and more will continue through newer Chevy infotainment systems. The underlying connectivity and integration will remain, even as the specific branding and interfaces evolve.

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