2015 Chevrolet Colorado: Testing MyLink and Siri Eyes Free Function
April 24, 2015
The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is offered in Base, Work Truck, LT and Z71 trims, and the more upscale LT and Z71 trims (our truck is the latter) come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen and Chevrolet MyLink interface. I've driven our Colorado for a few days now and find that, overall, the MyLink interface is pretty easy to use when first starting out.
There are physical buttons for direct access to radio (terrestrial and satellite) and "media" devices (USB, Bluetooth streaming audio), as well as a "home" button. There are no hard buttons for navigation or phone setup, which are accessed through the home screen or the phone/navi icons displayed on some screens.
There are two minor downsides to the system, however.
First, MyLink can be a bit slow responding to touch inputs but, at least with our Colorado, it hasn't bothered me that much. Second, MyLink doesn't have expansive audio or social media smartphone app integration.
For the most common functions, MyLink works well. The radio and media device screens are straightforward and the associated virtual buttons are fairly large. I also like how you can mix stations from AM, FM and satellite among the presets. Swiping across the band of presets at the bottom of the screen brings up a new set, although most users would eventually cycle through them with the steering wheel-mounted controls.
MyLink also comes with voice control for phone, audio and navigation. It has worked pretty well for me for placing calls and playing digital media, though I'd say Ford's Sync voice system processes a little quicker and has better pronunciation (then again, Ford doesn't offer a midsize pickup in the U.S., so advantage Chevy.) Overall it's a useful way to keep your eyes on the road and lower potential driver distraction.
MyLink system also comes with Siri Eyes Free functionality, allowing iPhone users to access limited Siri functions through the truck's Bluetooth system. I was curious to check it out, but learning how to use it was a challenge. There's no section for Siri in the MyLink owner's manual that came with our truck, nor is there any clear indication of what to do from Chevy's MyLink webpage.
Only after watching two YouTube videos did I realize that you need to press and hold the voice command button on the steering wheel for a couple of seconds. It makes sense to me now since that's how you do it on an iPhone, but it was confusing at first.
Many of Siri Eyes Free functions seem to overlap with MyLink's regular voice command capabilities regarding phone calls and audio. I've tested it out with text messaging, though MyLink also includes that functionality (it's possible that Eyes Free works better, but I tried out the standard text messaging to know for sure). You can also schedule meetings in your phone's calendar, which could be useful on the go, or send emails as long as you have the email addresses in your contacts.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,798 miles