FCA’s Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system software is getting a few helpful updates for the 2016 model year. Of the five updates, two center on mobile phone integration, another two focus on vehicle customization and usefulness, and the last gives listening to Sirius XM radio more iPod-like experience.
The first change is a new “Do Not Disturb” feature that does what says. Users can keep their phone connected to the Ucoonect system, but when they choose not to take a phone call or receive a text message, the Do Not Disturb function will keep phone rings silent and automatically reply to text messages with pre-selected away messages. More to the phone aspect, FCA is adding Siri Eyes Free. Users can now activate their iPhone’s Siri feature by using the voice activation button on the steering wheel.
Uconnect software designers have now include a drag and drop function in the system’s main menu bar. Want to have your heated seat function next to the navigation button? Like with the iPhone, simply press and hold an icon, then drag it to a new location.
What’s more, the Uconnect system will now offer a digital view of the vehicle’s owner’s manual. The Vehicle User Guide, as FCA calls it, will offer quick reference material for easy searching of vehicle operations.
Last, but most certainly not least, is a new function paired with SiriusXM radio called Tune Start. It builds off of the Uconnect’s DVR-like recording feature that allows users to rewind and play live streaming music. Now, Uconnect users will have songs start from the beginning on each of their pre-selected radio preset channels.
Why It Matters
I’ve often said FCA’s Uconnect 8.4 system is one of, if not the best, in-dash infotainment systems on the market. It combines easy-to-use menus with a full range of capabilities not found on all infotainment systems. These added features help it stay ahead of the pack, giving modern customers a solid reason to consider a FCA vehicle. I’m especially impressed with the Tune Start function. It might kick off a channel-preset revolution that spreads to other automakers. No there will be no more missing the first half of your favorite song because your passenger wanted to hear “Shake It Off” one more time.