2015 Kia K900: Using the UVO eServices App
February 10, 2015
The 2015 Kia K900 comes standard with UVO, which is Kia's umbrella name for its various infotainment features. What you get with UVO depends on the Kia you're looking at, but our 2015 K900 has the UVO eServices with navigation setup.
Some of UVO's features are smartphone app-based, so I grabbed my iPhone 5s to learn more.
There are two main things to do to get started: Register for an account and download the app. To register, I went to the UVO site, found the login area and entered my email address and a password. You also have to select a local dealer. Then I downloaded the app. There are a lot of Kia-oriented apps in the Apple store, so I had to be specific in my search to find the correct UVO one.
The app doesn't work until you have an account. But if your account is set up, you get into the K900, turn the car on, pair your phone to the car using Bluetooth, and start the app. Then there are a couple of steps where you press the UVO button in the car to activate the eServices part of UVO.
If I factor in my time spent reading up on how to do this, creating an account, and then getting it all connected in the car, it probably took me about 30 minutes in total. But once it's all set up, you're done.
Then there's the next obvious question: Now what? Well, the UVO eServices app for the K900 provides a few different features. There are maintenance indicators, dealer service scheduling, diagnostic checks, roadside assistance, 911 emergency assist, point-of-interest forwarding and a parking function that remembers where you parked your car. Pandora integration is also part of UVO, but at the current time, the UVO app lacks any further integration for social media apps (Facebook/Twitter) or other music/audio apps (iHeart radio, for example).
I tried to test out some of UVO's available features. I ran the diagnostic report. All the report told me was that the car was fine, but, hey, there you go. I also used the POI function. It took some fiddling on my part to figure out how it works, but if you have saved locations or POIs in Google Maps (either the Web site or the app, I believe), you can forward those locations to the car and then use the car's navigation system to get you there. I haven't yet tried the parking function ("Dude, Where's My Car?") but if I happen to be in a big parking lot in the near future I'll give it a shot.
Based on these initial impressions, I'm a little underwhelmed. The last luxury brand app integration system I checked out, BMW ConnectedDrive in our 328i GT, had more features available. But presumably this is something that Kia can improve over time.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,954 miles