Porsche becomes the first automaker to begin unlocking the deep integration of a vehicle’s back-end systems, telematics, and infotainment with Apple CarPlay. The plans have been in the works for at least two years, and the rollout is an ongoing affair. Last July, Porsche combined its My Porsche App with Apple CarPlay, essentially embedding the former into the latter. Owners could control vehicle functions through the My Porsche App, but that was done within the CarPlay mirroring experience. In addition to adjusting individual settings like climate control, radio stations, and ambient lighting with buttons or by using Siri, a series of “wellness modes” like “Relax” and “Refresh” could quickly change the mood in the cabin. In December, Porsche and Aston Martin were the first to showcase how a full CarPlay takeover could look.
For the next step in the integration, Porsche reorganized the entire My Porsche App for easier and more intuitive use within CarPlay. There are now more functions on the home screen, and thanks to the Quick Actions buttons, command over a wider range of functions is quicker and easier to implement. The Quick Actions for an electric vehicle include a charging widget that pulls up a page with all of the charging functions in the app. There’s also a new Performance Dashboard that displays the same kinds of dynamic data we’re used to viewing in a digital gauge cluster or the infotainment screen, such as G forces, top speed, distance, efficiency, and average speed. The automaker’s satisfying customer demand by rolling out Apple Maps EV routing to overseas markets after doing so for U.S. Taycan owners.
Apple Watch wearers aren’t left out, either. People who consider the phone screen too much real estate to manage will be able to do things like lock and unlock their Porsches, remotely start the climate control, and peruse vehicle information on their wrists. Ultimately, all of this will be enabled for 400,000 vehicles around the world, including any vehicles already on the road that can run PCM 6.0. Non-Porsche owners, don’t feel left out, Aston Martin’s likely the next in line, and Apple said future partners will include Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Porsche, Renault and Volvo.
We have to admit wanting to study how Porsche owners interact with their vehicles. Considering how much was already possible in the My Porsche App outside of CarPlay, and how much clamoring there’s been for automakers to restore buttons in a car, we’re perplexed by the idea of opening or even reaching for a new app to do what we could already do in an existing app or in the car — kind of like scanning a QR code to look at a menu. But that’s likely this writer’s age talking, so I should probably go have a glass of milk and stare at some birds for a minute.