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GM commits to in-car apps by the end of the year

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GM app demo
GM app demo

General Motors has shown off prototypes of its in-car app platform for months, but today the automaker has finally committed turning its tech demos into a reality. In an interview with CNET, March Chan, the president of GM's global connected consumer division, said the company plans to have apps up and running in its dashboards sometime in the second half of the year, as 2014 models arrive at dealerships. But just what apps and just what cars will be a part of this rollout hasn't yet been announced.

What we do know at this point is that GM wants its apps to run in a car's in-dash entertainment system, and not rely on a smartphone to work. GM has demoed early versions of its in-car app platform in vehicles that have their own LTE connections built in. As to whether or not the apps will be free or paid, how they'll be downloaded or which ones will be included, that's all yet to be determined, Chan told CNET. GM will initially select which apps are installed in its vehicles, but eventually an app store will be made available, and other apps can be downloaded. The apps will be built specifically for GM cars, but the company hasn't decided if the apps will be free, a part of a new paid service, or set up with individual subscriptions, Chan said in the interview.

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More than 1,800 developers have signed up with GM to build apps for its cars, and the carmaker will build a few apps itself — something the company has done with its Cadillac Cue entertainment system. No specific apps have been announced, but TuneIn, Slacker, NPR, Pandora, and The Weather Channel have built demo apps for GM's LTE connected concept cars.