My first impression of OnStar's ability to read back my recent personal news feeds wasn't too impressive. The robotic reading isn't pleasant to the ear, and obviously I'm going to miss out on any attached photos, video clips, or links.
I then decided to post a status update. Since I've had personal voice recognition issues in communicating with the OnStar interface, I made sure that I spoke slowly after OnStar asked me what was on my mind.
Doh! I didn't realize that "audio" Facebook integration meant that it was actually uploading my own dragged-out recording as a sound clip. I thought the system would translate my words to text. I'm sure that audio updates can be convenient and cool if I'm ever driving entertaining company around, but I think I'd prefer to chance the voice-to-text translation. Some Facebook-friendly devices -- including my iPhone -- can't even play back the audio clips.
My final beef with the process is that it let everyone know that "Rick Munarriz has posted an audio update from his Cadillac SRX using OnStar."
Now, I figured that the OnStar plug would be coming. After all, smartphone-specific apps promote the brand of handset being used to punch in a status update. However, do I want everyone to know the car I'm driving?
I'm proud of my SRX. It's served me well for four years. I don't mind bringing it up here, obviously. However, I don't know if it comes off as facetious or braggadocious. If it had been an Escalade, would I have upset my more eco-friendly buds? What if someone is embarrassed to reveal the model they're driving?
However, I quickly overcame that final point, because on the whole, this new feature is a viral win for GM. Ford
Despite its financial setback before returning to public trading last month, GM wasn't an infotainment laggard. It was one of the earliest adopters of factory-installed Sirius XM Radio
I don't know whether OnStar's Facebook applications will take off, but it's hard to argue against stamping GM cars into Facebook status updates. And if passengers and Facebook friends see what a GM car with an active OnStar account can do, they may be tempted to purchase one themselves.
Newly public once again, GM is already turning heads with its cleaned-up balance sheet. I'm glad to see the company's OnStar platform also leading the way on the world's premiere social network.
Can I get Twitter feeds and Fool.com headlines read to me next?
Would you buy a GM car or subscribe to OnStar for audio posting and news feed readings? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when social networks were an offline endeavor. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.