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GM opening cars up for app development

At CES 2013, GM announced a new application framework and resources to let developers build apps for in-dash use.

Chevy MyLink interface
Chevy's new MyLink interface, launching in the Impala this year, adopts a smartphone aesthetic. GM

LAS VEGAS--On the same day that Ford announced its Sync AppLink developer program, GM came out with its own take, announcing it would make APIs and other resources available so developers can build apps for the car.

GM announced a new Web site,, where developers will be able to download the SDK for its new app framework. It also demonstrated integration with iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Slacker, and The Weather Channel on the new framework.

GM plans on offering the new framework in some 2014 model year vehicles, which could come out as early as this summer. As GM builds up its library of apps, owners will be able to select which ones they want to use in their cars. Beyond current, popular apps, GM expects the open developer program to result in car-specific apps.

The current infotainment system in Chevrolet vehicles goes by the name MyLink, while Buick uses the name IntelliLink. Operating similarly, both systems offer advanced hands-free phone and digital music features, along with some app integration. The new framework will replace the current MyLink and IntelliLink systems, and also find its way into other GM brands. GM will show the new system in a Chevy Malibu during CES 2013.

GM's announcement comes amongst a flurry of app activity, from its Connected Car Challenge at the AT&T Developer Hackathon to additional app integration with its existing MyLink system in the Chevy Spark and Sonic. GM, which currently offers Pandora and Stitcher integration, with TuneIn Internet radio and BringGo navigation to follow this year, is playing catch-up with Ford, which now features a roster of almost 20 integrated apps.

Opening up the platform to developers could jump-start new features in GM vehicles. The SDK uses HTML5, an open standard currently being adopted in many different computing environments, and ensuring abundant developer expertise.