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Porsche recently made a big announcement: It’s finally adding Android Auto to most of its upcoming models. That news might surprise some folks, not because they didn’t expect Porsche to have Android Auto, but because they would have thought it was already included. So, what’s the story with Porsche and Android Auto? We dug around to find out. 

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto, a program available in car models of all types, makes it simple to integrate your Android phone into your driving life. It allows you to connect your smartphone to your car’s infotainment system, which makes it easy to use many of your favorite apps in your vehicle. 

In an Android Auto-compatible car, you can play your favorite tunes, send voice-to-text messages, display directions to your destination, and more. What’s most important is that you can use all of these features in hands-free mode, which greatly enhances your safety on the road, not to mention the safety of those on the road around you. 

Getting started with using Android Auto is simple. All you have to do is say, “Hey, Google,” and you’ll be on your way to completing whatever task it is you want to complete, Android explains. 

Here’s why Porsche didn’t provide Android Auto integration

Porsche Android Auto
Porsche 2022 infotainment system | Porsche

It’s somewhat surprising that the German automaker has only recently begun introducing Android Auto integration in many of its models. What was the hold-up? While rumors abounded that Porsche was trying to make its cars seem more exclusive or to lock off certain features, according to one report, it came down to an even simpler explanation: a conflict between the manufacturer and Google, which owns Android Auto. 

According to Autoevolution, Porsche originally refused to enter an agreement with Google to use Android Auto because Google demanded that Porsche turn over data collected from its drivers that the car manufacturer considered confidential. Information collected would have included throttle position, oil and coolant temperature, engine revs, and more. The theory is that Google would have used the data to help the tech giant develop an autonomous vehicle

These new models include the phone-integration tech feature

What’s interesting is that even now, as Porsche has begun incorporating Android Auto into its lineup, the feature won’t necessarily be available in all models. 

Porsche’s sixth-generation infotainment system, known as PCM 6.0, has been or will be introduced in certain 2022 models. According to Car and Driver, the automaker began by introducing the new infotainment system in the 911 but then planned to expand to other vehicles. Other Porsche models that will incorporate PCM 6.0 and Android Auto are the Cayenne, Taycan, and Panamera. 

However, certain Porsche models will remain without Android Auto — a fact that’s sure to frustrate some potential buyers. (As one annoyed customer wrote on Rennlist before the introduction of PCM 6.0: “Hey Porsche … more people on this planet bought Android instead of Apple. Wake up!”) Models that will continue without Android Auto include the 718 Cayman, Boxster, and Macan. So anyone hoping to connect their smartphone to their Porsche via Android Auto will want to steer clear of those models. 

Of course, the carmaker is focusing on the positives — access to Android Auto that consumers have been wanting for some time. As Porsche put it in a recent press release, the PCM 6.0 update makes the infotainment system “more versatile, more intuitive, [and] more intelligent.”