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Summary:

The automaker isn’t adding Apple’s service to any high-end models just yet, but two smaller cars aimed at buyers on a budget. To use it, owners will need an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 running iOS 6 that can connect to the car’s infotainment system.

ChevyMyLinkSiri07.jpg
photo: Steve Fecht for Chevrolet

Starting next year, two new car models will have built-in Siri integration, and both of them are from Chevy: the Spark and the Sonic. General Motors announced the cars’ forthcoming integration with Apple’s personal voice assistant service on Tuesday at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Notably, the automaker isn’t adding Apple’s service to any of its high-end models just yet, but these two smaller cars, which are aimed at buyers on a budget. But these two models will come with the newest version of Chevy’s MyLink connected car system, which may explain why these are the first two cars to support Siri integration.

If the future owners of those cars have an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 running iOS 6, they can connect their phone to the car’s infotainment system and interact with their phone through voice commands while on the road. There will also be a button in the steering wheel that will put Siri into “Eyes Free” mode. That’s intended to let Siri work as normal, but without lighting up the iPhone’s screen so the driver is more likely to keep their eyes on the road.

Eyes Free mode lets drivers use Siri to make hands-free calls, listen to, write and send texts, find and make calendar appointments, and call up songs to play. While in that mode Siri won’t give answers to complex questions if it requires the answer to be displayed on a webpage.

Apple first announced its intention to move its voice assistant software to connected cars in June. Other brands said to be working on in-car Siri integration include Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes and Toyota. Ford is a notable exception that will not be participating.

  1. Apple really is taking over the world one technology platform at a time! This is extremely useful, however I believe the automakers are going to have to cater this function to other types of smart phones. While a lot, some may argue the majority, of cell phone users are switching to the various models of iPhones, there are still other smart phones out there which can’t be ignored. Someone with a different type of cell phone may be turned off by this unique feature. I, however, am an avid Apple/iPhone user and buyer and think this is totally cool! May be upgrading to a car featuring this when Honda jumps on board. :)

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    1. I think Honda is already a supporter. It’s the German cars that really lack support.

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  2. I find rather odd that automobile companies would lock themselves into one proprietary environment. This limits sales potential on a wider spectrum. So only Apple owners will purchase these Chevy models? Of course I’m being facetious but it is done to make a point. Companies that have no direct involvement with Apple, Android or other platforms, need to focus on multiple platforms adaptibility to satisfiy the entire consumer base. Plug and play should be inherently simple no matter what OS is preferred.

    John B.

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