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Hands-on: Chevrolet MyLink in the 2013 Spark (pictures)

Chevrolet's Spark is the least expensive vehicle in GM's lineup, but that doesn't mean that it has to have the lowest tech.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2013 Chevrolet Spark

Starting at $12,995, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is the least expensive vehicle in GM's lineup, but that doesn't mean that it has to have the lowest tech.
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2 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Chevrolet MyLink Touch Radio

Starting at the $14,495 1LT trim level, the Spark is available with the Chevrolet MyLink Touch Radio as a standard feature. This system uses a 7-inch color touch screen and a simple, easy-to-understand interface.
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3 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Capacitive buttons

Just below the touch screen, which uses resistive touch technology, is this bank of capacitive buttons for volume, power, and home. There are no other physical controls on the dashboard -- with the exception of the simple climate controls.
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4 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Terrestrial and satellite radio

On its own, the MyLink system features receivers for terrestrial and satellite radio. GM has chosen to do away with the CD player for this system, citing cost savings and a lack of use by prospective buyers among the reasons for the cut.
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5 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Bluetooth technology

The system also features standard Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming. The Spark lacks a voice recognition system of its own, so it passes voice commands through to your phone's voice dialer or speech recognition engine.
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6 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

USB and iPod connectivity

When connected to an iPod, iPhone, or USB, the MyLink Touch Radio is able to browse and play back MP3 files. As is the case on all of the MyLink's screens, the text is large and the buttons are easy to aim for with a fingertip.
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7 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Smartphone link

Pair an Android smartphone with Bluetooth or connect an iPhone to the USB port, and the MyLink system gains a few new features by way of app integration.
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BringGo navigation

BringGo is a smartphone navigation app for Android and iOS that can be used to search for destinations, display traffic, and give turn-by-turn directions.
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Navigation

BringGo offers all of the features of a standalone GPS navigation app or device, only it lives on your smartphone, instead of in your car. Spark users can download the app for about $50. OnStar's turn-by-turn directions are also available as part of a subscription for those users who don't own a smartphone.
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10 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Pandora Internet radio

Like most car stereos boasting app integration, Pandora Internet radio makes an appearance here along with its requisite thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons. Users can access their preset radio stations from the MyLink interface.
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11 of 11 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Stitcher radio and podcasts

Likewise, users can access their favorite Stitcher radio stations and podcasts with the MyLink interface. All of the app data lives on your smartphone and in the cloud.

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