Chrysler Uconnect Access Via Mobile: Uconnect gets an upgrade to keep up with the competition

Chrysler Uconnect Access Via Mobile app screen

Read our full Chrysler Uconnect review.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Chrysler announced an important upgrade to its Uconnect infotainment system. With “Uconnect Access Via Mobile” drivers will, as the unwieldy name says, be able to connect their mobile devices to their cars.

Uconnect is Chrysler’s equivalent to Sync with MyFord Touch or Chevrolet’s MyLink, but it lacks one feature that is becoming commonplace in these systems. Features like Ford’s Sync App Link, Toyota’s Entune, and Subaru’s newly-unveiled Starlink with Aha connect cars to all sorts of Web-based content, but not Uconnect. Chrysler driver’s can’t even connect their phones to Uconnect with Bluetooth or a USB.

Uconnect Access Via Mobile fixes that. Pandora, Slacker, and iHeartRadio take care of streaming music and talk show duties, while Harman’s Aha provides weather reports and other travel information, as well as Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds.

Like other in-car streaming features, the advantage of Uconnect is that it allows a driver to use the car’s big touch screen or, for certain functions, steering wheel-mounted controls instead of a smartphone’s relatively small screen.

Mobile access isn’t the only feature Chrysler is adding to Uconnect. Certain 2013 Ram 1500 and SRT Viper models will get Uconnect Access, which includes one-touch 911 dialing and remote door locking and unlocking for emergencies.

Chrysler is also changing Uconnect’s navigation system, but not in any way that a driver will notice. Beginning, again, with the 2013 Ram 1500 and Viper (along with the 2014 Fiat 500L), Chrysler will build new cars with navigation hardware, but no software. This means dealers can install navigation when a car is sold, or even weeks or months after.

The last two new features will appear on certain 2013 models, but Chrysler did not say which models would get Uconnect Access Via Mobile. That will be revealed closer to the upgraded infotainment system’s launch.