(Disclaimer: I'm a member of 'Generation Y', and we take our technology and connectivity more seriously than most.)
I was looking to buy a Volt last November, but when I learned about MyLink, I decided to wait an extra few months until it was available on the Volt. However, I recently visited a local dealer and was disappointed to learn that some of the most attractive features of MyLink (like integrating Pandora into the 7-inch touchscreen using a Bluetooth connection through your smartphone) don't work with iPhones -- only Android phones. As an iPhone owner, I was quite disappointed to learn this since the Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to leave my phone in my pocket was the main attraction for me. However, iPhones ARE supposed to work fully with MyLink as long as you forgo the convenience of the Bluetooth connection and plug it in with a USB cable. So I decided to return to the dealer with a USB cable to give MyLink a try in one of their 2013 Malibus.
The results were not great. (this is w/ the iPhone 4, iOS 5.0)
First, the good:
-With only a Bluetooth connection, you can play audio from the iPhone through the car speakers. This works with playing songs stored on the iPhone with the "iPod" app, Pandora, other streaming radio, etc. This is essentially just a "dumb" audio stream with no integration or control through the MyLink touchscreen or steering wheel buttons. You can't see song info on the touchscreen, nor select/skip tracks or thumbs up/down in Pandora. You control the iPhone with the iPhone screen, and volume controls on the iPhone affect the volume output through the car speakers.
-Plugged in with a USB cable, Pandora does work through the MyLink touchscreen. You can see song info, "thumbs up" songs, "thumbs down" songs, bookmark songs, etc. However, launching it and navigation can be kinda buggy, which I'll touch on in a sec...
Now, the bad:
-As mentioned above, there is no Bluetooth integration of Pandora or Stitcher (or any future app releases, like a Nav app) through the MyLink touchscreen.
-Probably the worst thing that I discovered is that if you plug the iPhone in with a USB cable in order to fully integrate Pandora into the MyLink touchscreen and you launch Pandora, you're STUCK WITH PANDORA.
Here's what I mean... In MyLink, you choose your audio source. Available sources include AM, FM, XM, CD, AUX, Bluetooth Audio, Pandora, Stitcher, and iPod/USB. In order to play Pandora and control it through the MyLink touchscreen, you select Pandora as the source. This launches the Pandora app through your iPhone, displays song info on the MyLink touchscreen, and locks the iPhone screen. Then, if you decide that you want play a song that is stored on your iPhone and select "iPod" as your source, the MyLink screen stops displaying Pandora song info and starts playing whatever audio it is that's coming from the iPhone -- which is still Pandora. And at this point, you can't manually switch from Pandora to the iPod app by using the iPhone touchscreen because the screen is still locked! [AHHRG!!! Who designed this thing?!?!?]
Anyhoo... this leaves me trying to decide between a flawed MyLink radio or an overpriced Nav radio. If I had confidence that the MyLink issues would be fixed in the near future (or even in the not-so-near future), I'd gladly order MyLink and patiently wait for the future firmware updates to improve my vehicle. But if chances are good that the same bugs will persist indefinitely, then it makes the Nav radio much more attractive. A third option would be to change phones to an Android, but I feel like changing phones at this point would be more hassle than it's worth.
Do any of the folks here who are in tune with the ins and outs of this kind of technology stuff think it's likely that GM/Apple will fix these flaws?