OnStar Googles Volt


Photo courtesy GM

While I don’t mean this as negative criticism of a recent press release, I do find the meat behind the message a bit premature for the masses and limited in range and use. And I thank them (sort of) for the revelation it led to.

OnStar is announcing they will be at the Google I/O conference this week to debut and demonstrate new functionalities planned for an app that works with the upcoming Chevrolet Volt. Version 1.0 of the app will be released alongside the Volt this fall.

And the app will apparently only work on Android smartphones.

The Google angle here? Helping you find your Volt.

OK, perhaps it is the cynical bastard in me but if you do happen to be one of the first adopters to purchase a Chevy Volt I somehow don’t think you are going to forget where you park it. And, they better offer one of these phones free as a gift for purchasing the vehicle. But I suggest you learn your vehicle very quickly because if you do happen to get your hands on a Volt AND you have an Android phone you still have to wait for version 2.0 of the app for the new functionalities to be available.

I did a search this morning for Chevy Volt apps on the iTunes app store and found zilch – nada.

What does this tell me?
Revelation time … I have become one of the masses, a sheep, a follower.
The Apple iPhone and gas-guzzling internal combustion engines that I love so much are (gasp) common, mundane and just plain ordinary.
“Hello, my name is David and I am … MAINSTREAM.”

No sooner do I hang my head in gloom and doom than an e-mail to the agency providing the press release produces some hope and rays of sunshine:

The Google specific parts of the app will run only on Android as of right now. The Chevrolet Volt comes out in late 2010 and the initial Chevrolet Volt OnStar mobile application (announced at CES in January) will be available to Volt owners at that time, including functionality that works with multiple phone platforms including Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Droid etc.

OnStar is working with Google to create new functionalities and add to the existing Volt mobile application, so many of the enhancements will come with a 2.0 version launch down the road. (They are not stating when that will be.) The new functionalities are being explored on the Android platform and OnStar is looking at how to do future functionalities on other operating systems.

OK, let’s see what else is in my INBOX …

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.