The system on the Holden VF Commodore Calais V-Series shown in Melbourne featured two rows of 16 square-shaped ‘apps’ on its home page, each labelled Now Playing, Nav, Phone, AM, FM, Pandora, Stitcher, DVD, USB, Aux, Bluetooth, Rear Aux, Tone, Config, Destination and Quick Info.
MyLink works like a smartphone, using third-party ‘apps’ to control both music and navigation options.
The launch of the ‘Pandora’ application is imminent, an app that streams online music via Bluetooth streaming using a smartphone’s internet connection. Select a song from Pandora’s online playlist, then the system automatically creates a playlist based on the user’s taste. A 40 second advertisement is played after every four songs; the system’s only cost. Pandora will use, at worst, 1.5-2Gb of internet data per month, according to Holden.
Other apps include Stitcher, which offers internet radio stations and podcasts without Pandora’s extra functions, BringGo, which provides satellite navigation functions, and Siri, which as with its use on the Apple iPhones, answers user questions, from the weather to finding a nearby petrol station.
For the first time on a Commodore, the new MyLink system enables the Holden VF to adopt internet streaming allowing a high level of customisation including the ability to download other apps.
Although MyLink is available on several General Motors products worldwide – particularly Chevrolets – and made its debut in Australia on the Barina CDX, Holden says that the version in the Holden VF Commodore is a little bit more special.
“VF gets the most advanced version that General Motors has of our new MyLink infotainment system…” claims Holden managing director Mike Devereux.
“We will when we launch this car have the most advanced system anywhere in the world of General Motors.”
Holden design director, Andrew Smith (above), explained that the adoption of the MyLink system was a good example of how the Holden VF Commodore is more globally connected than the VE that went before it.
Having only recently returned from Seoul to head up design in Melbourne, Aussie-born Smith helped create the original VE’s now-defunct multi-media interface, which was a locally developed system – he mused that “that was my baby. I went overseas and came back and they’d changed it” – not shared with any other car in the world. The contrast to the global-sharing philosophy with MyLink and the VF Commodore is obvious.
“Getting this [MyLink] aligned means that not only do we get vehicles that for a Holden customer are consistent, it’s also a better system than before,” admitted Smith, referring to the Holden iQ touchscreen introduced in 2010. “It’s flexible, [and] will have better support for upgrades…
“I know we’ve had criticism of the iQ system for being a bit slow. This means we can leverage global resources to stay ahead.
“Like we talk about … using a globally sourced part, the MyLink system is something we’re rolling across all our product, and it really is something that is a complicated development process.”
MyLink will also be more serviceable than the MMI and Holden iQ systems that went before it, with software updates planned for the future.
“At the moment my understanding is that it [upgrades] are going to be when you get the car serviced,” said Smith.
“But you start to think about where it can go … you can now update your operating system on your iPhone through the network…”