Porsche explains why it’s going all-in on CarPlay, unlike GM and others

I’ve written a lot about GM’s shortsighted decision to abandon CarPlay in all of its EVs next year. On the flip side, however, Porsche has been expanding its focus on CarPlay, most recently with its My Porsche app for CarPlay adding climate controls and other in-car features.

In a new interview with ArsTechnica, Cyril Dorsaz, Porsche Digital’s principal product manager, offered more details on why the company believes CarPlay is the way of the future.

We got the chance to go hands-on with the new My Porsche app in CarPlay back in July and were very impressed with the feature-rich experience. In this week’s interview with ArsTechnica, Dorsaz explained the company’s motivation to integrate climate controls, lighting, and more right into the CarPlay experience.

“Obviously, you have to switch back and forth to control some features around media, for example, some more specific features around climate. And ultimately, we learned through customer research that this is something that our customers are not really happy with.”

During the development process of the new My Porsche app, Dorsaz said the company even made conscious decisions about which font to use.

“We had a conversation about ‘should we use the Porsche font here or the San Francisco font?’ The obvious choice was San Francisco font because other apps in the ecosystem are using the San Francisco font. So we don’t want to stand out too much.”

The ultimate goal, Dorsaz explained, is that users be familiar with the user interface and user experience in their cars. Drivers are familiar with their iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, so why shouldn’t Porsche lean into that?

“The goal for us is that customers, when they’re not in the car, they are using the iPhone, iPad, MacOS, Apple Watch, they are very familiar with this UX, UI. That’s why they love Apple CarPlay, and that’s why we went with this very familiar Apple UI.”

The biggest limitation to the new My Porsche app for CarPlay is that it’s only supported on the 2024 Porsche Cayenne. Dorsaz says the carmaker still hasn’t made a decision on when or if support will come to older models. As for Android Auto users hoping for a similar experience, it doesn’t seem like that’s in the cards due to the “lack of an equivalent automaker toolkit” and “the much lower incidence of Android use among Porsche customers.”

9to5Mac’s Take

Porsche is clearly taking the complete opposite approach of GM, Tesla, and Rivian when it comes to CarPlay. Porsche wants its in-car experience to be familiar to users, whereas Tesla, GM, and Rivian are pushing that aside to have complete control over the in-car experience.

The majority of iPhone users have already made it pretty clear that they aren’t happy with GM’s decision in particular. Will GM walk back its decision? Only time will tell. But they absolutely should.

In a similar vein, Ford has also been outspoken about its support of CarPlay in light of GM’s decision.

Unfortunately, one thing we’re still waiting on is the next-generation CarPlay platform that Apple first announced back at WWDC 2022. Apple says the first cars with next-gen CarPlay will be announced by the end of this year, but time is running out.

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