Android Users Could Face Problems in the 2014 Chevy Impala

2014 Chevy Impala Android

When it came time to first plug my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone into Cars.com's 2014 Chevrolet Impala long-term test car's USB port, the dreaded "Device not supported" message showed up. As a non-iPhone user, it's a message I'm accustomed to seeing in the various new cars we test. For this reason I keep an iPhone in tow to get the full USB experience of voice commands and navigating a music library via in-car controls when my phone doesn't play nice.

Related: More Long-Term Test Car Coverage

That may change in the future with the Open Automotive Alliance, including General Motors, bringing Android tech into cars with Android Auto, but for now I popped a few questions over to Chevrolet's customer service to see if it was my phone or if MyLink needed updating.

The answer?

Impala's MyLink USB connectivity only supports Apple iOS devices.

Ouch.

It was a somewhat strange answer considering that various phone and car forums show some people have made the system work with their Android phones, plus I've had success in other Chevrolet cars. After digging a little deeper, Chevrolet spokesman Fred Ligouri says Android-tethered USB phone compatibility does exist for some devices.

2014 Chevy Impala Android

From our conversation with Ligouri, the Chevrolet team has already implemented limited Android USB compatibility into MyLink systems and continues to make progress integrating more. For smartphones where USB compatibility doesn't exist, Bluetooth streaming audio is a sufficient workaround in the Impala with its ability to stream music and use the Impala's Pandora app when there isn't full USB connectivity.

"While there are some different communication protocols for Android devices affecting the tethered compatibility to MyLink, there's the ability to pair via Bluetooth for similar music streaming and phone functionality on most [Android] devices," says Ligouri.

We'd love to tell you which Android phones have USB compatibility with the Impala's MyLink, but procuring a compatibility chart is proving difficult. Another editor's Galaxy S5 encountered the same limitations as my S3. The easiest way Android users can check USB functions is to bring a USB cable along on a test drive of a MyLink-equipped vehicle. Those who come up empty-handed can check car and phone Bluetooth compatibility for a General Motors' vehicle here.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

Comments 

J

Because of the Android's fragmentation makes it very complicated for the automakers too?

Kenny

This artificial limitation is just stupid. Cars from other companies work just fine with android.

I would obviously not buy this car since I would be paying for a functionality but not be able to use it.

Robert

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

tye

You would not buy this car because the connectivity of a phone? I can't comprehend that. Number one, there will be a fix undoubtedly. Number two, its not even a feature that has anything to do with overall performance or durability.

jyd

Any car company that hooks their wagon to Android is going to have a lot of problems.

Steve

How did people ever live before cell phones? The more I hear about all this technology and getting all these things to work with each other, the more I have no desire to upgrade vehicles.

My trac-phone works great, takes pictures and videos, has a bunch of other stuff I don't need or want, and it sits in my pocket when I drive. My only concern is a functioning radio. Then I enjoy just driving the car. Yep.....I'm getting older (47 now).

Jay

There's really no excuse for this. The problem is that auto makers are notorious for dragging their feet and taking an extremely long time to implement new features. Here's an idea, guys! Make one single API for all of your MyLink-equipped vehicles, and then you only need to program functionality once for your entire range of vehicles. The Samsung phones sell like hotcakes and they are great devices. To not sync with such a common phone series (Galaxy) is just ridiculous.

I am in the market for a new vehicle and really like the new Colorado. I will not be buying the 2015 model because it will surely not pair with my Samsung phone. I am hoping, hoping that Android Auto will finally be implemented in the 2016 Colorado. If it is I will buy that model year. If not, I'll break down and get a Silverado. Yes, because technology means that much to me, and I plan to keep my next truck for a very long time. I don't want to have a vehicle that cannot connect to my phone for the next decade.

And no, GM will probably never fix these issues on current vehicles. Look at their compatibility list. Other than the Apple phone,s there are only 4 or 5 Android phones on the list. And they are not popular models. It's sad to think auto companies could be this far out of touch, but they prove it time and time again. Don't hold your breath waiting for them to change.

mike

jyd...you are a freaking moron.

jyd

Really, mike? I guess you don't think the fragmentation issue is going to be an ongoing problem.

Arcee

When I bought my 2011 Sonata over 4 years ago, my Samsung phone wouldn't pair with the Bluetooth system in the Sonata. Hyundai told me to go to Samsung. Samsung told me to go to Hyundai. Hyundai told me to go back to Samsung. Samsung then told me to go to Verizon for a firmware update. Verizon said no firmware update, go back to Samsung. I finally dumped the phone and got an HTC Android that paired up just fine to the Sonata. The automakers ultimately don't care if there are phones that aren't compatible with their systems. They can't possibly make the systems compatible with every phone out there.

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