Hands-On with the Connected Car

GigaOm writer Kevin Tofel talks about how well his smartphone plays with his Chevy Volt:

My Volt came with a satellite radio trial, yet I haven’t tuned in to it. Not once. I know what the service is like: I was a subscriber a few years back and I enjoyed it. I just don’t see the need given that my mobile device has far more options for music. Options that I like, use every day and have refined for my musical tastes.

For example, when I want my fix of the Beatles — which is nearly all the time — I useTuneIn Radio which has a 7×24 Beatles feed.

It works with any any car that supports Bluetooth audio from a phone, so this isn’t a new technology; it’s just a convenient one made better by the explosion of available mobile apps. But I’m also taking this one step further.

My Volt has integrated support for Pandora and Stitcher Radio on my phone. That means I can listen to my curated “radio” stations or podcasts. And because the apps are integrated, I can safely interact with them by voice or touch controls on the central console. It’s a breeze to skip tunes or give them a “thumbs up” on the Pandora smartphone app even though I’m using the car’s touchscreen to do so. Watch for more of this car to phone interaction in apps going forward.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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