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Next-gen Chevy MyLink employs smartphone flexibility

Chevrolet showed off a 2014 Impala equipped with the next generation of its MyLink infotainment system at CES 2013.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
 Chevy MyLink is customizable
Watch this: Chevy MyLink's improved software

LAS VEGAS--Cabin tech interfaces receive a lot of criticism for being clunky, ugly, and slow, but Chevrolet may have cracked the code by copying the smartphone. The newest generation of the MyLink infotainment system runs smoothly and employs icons that look, and can be rearranged, like those on a smartphone.

Similar to an iPhone, drivers of the new Impala will be able to put the interface into edit mode, and move icons around on the touch screen. The icons cover everything from navigation to phone to apps such as Pandora. To make the system better suited to cars, there are only eight icons per screen.

For quick access to functions such as navigation, drivers will be able to save up to four icons to an upper strip on the interface. Those icons will remain static as the driver goes into different functions, such as music playback menus.

Chevy debuts smartphone-inspired MyLink in Impala (pictures)

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Particularly striking are the Favorites, which take the place of radio presets. A driver will be able to save virtually anything in the system to one of the 60 available Favorites, such as a phone number, destination, music genre, or a radio station. The Favorites initially appear as numbers, but drivers can customize each button to show what it is. Saving a point of interest with an associated graphic, such as a particular gas station, will automatically use that graphic instead of the number on the display.

This interface controls the features Chevy initially rolled out with MyLink such as Bluetooth hands-free calling and digital audio. However, the system comes with updated navigation maps, stored on the system's flash drive.

This new version of MyLink will come out on the 2014 Chevy Impala later this year.