GM had big plans for its 2015 models, promising an array of brand-specific apps through AppShop that would help transform how people experience their Chevy, Cadillac, Buick or GMC. The automotive giant was going to launch proprietary info, entertainment and lifestyle apps, but that has been abandoned in favor of letting Google and Apple take over the task of app development.
If you purchase a 2015 GM vehicle with the OnStar 4G LTE system, you will notice there is no brand-specific app store that can be accessed using the infotainment system. Instead there are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which are app stores crafted for vehicles. As an added benefit, a connected smartphone can send car-optimized versions of certain apps to the vehicle.
This certainly isn’t the first time that GM has decided to reinvent the wheel, or to make its own tires, in a bid to create a unique experience for vehicle owners and increase its profits. Perhaps the move to let Google and Apple shine where they are quite practiced is a sign that GM really has changed since emerging from bankruptcy. Instead of forging ahead with a half-baked version of its own app store, GM has opted to let in some trusted and competent business partners, focusing ultimately on the driver’s experience.
Don’t think this means that the GM AppShop is completely dead, because it’s not. The automaker still has plans to launch it sometime in the future, providing some general lifestyle apps that can be used in combination with any smartphone, no matter the brand.