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As background, I've been trying to get a good Android Auto solution in my 2018 718 Boxter GTS since I first got the car. Late 2019, I unstalled the Naviplus unit (the hardware box) -- it was OK, but was never a clean "OEM-like" integration. I removed that hardware from my car last week (it will be on eBay shortly) and went with the Unichip solution this week -- and happy to say that it works!

This is the solution --> https://www.unichip-tec.com/porsche_android_auto_activation_via_usb.html

This is not a hardware add-on (like NaviPlus or KAP trader). This is not a full-blown Android computer (like ROIK). Instead, it's a software config to activate the Android Auto code that's already sitting inside of our PCM 4.0 units. Our PCM stereos (made by Harmann, like most other OEM stereos) supports Android Auto out of the box - but Porsche doesn't enable that (I'm guessing due to privacy concerns). What the Unichip team does is simply activate this feature in our stereo.

In short, it's pretty elegant. Very OEM, very clean. As an earlier post mentioned, I've seen one little glitch (blurry text on one since icon on home screen) - but that's super minor. aka it's really clean and works great --- including integration into factory mic.

If you have a decent technology background (e.g. strong windows networking skills), then it's a pretty easy install. If you have no idea what a subnet mask is or how to config a VPN connection, then call a friend to help you with the install :)

To do this config (I'm calling it a config, not an install - since you're not installing any physical thing to the car):
  • Order the kit from UniChip (using the link above). It includes a USB NIC and and SD card with config files. It arrived from Hong Kong in about 1 week.
  • Find a Windows laptop and download / install TeamViewer (it's free desktop sharing / remote control software)
  • Put the SD Card with the config files into the car's SD Card Slot (the slot on the left)
  • Turn on the car (Engine on key position)
  • Connect laptop to two seperate network connections: (1) your regular connection to the internet, and (2) a wired Ethernet connection to you car, via the USB port in the car (see photo below)
  • Make sure your laptop has an ethernet link to the car (ip address 172.16.250.248 is the stereo's IP address)
  • Install Unichip's port forwarder software on your laptop
  • Shut off windows firewall and antivirus software on your laptop
  • Use WhatsApp to communicate in real-time with the Unichip Engineer. I was very pleased with his communication and support skills.
  • UniChip's tech logs onto your PC via TeamViewer to check / verify the config of your laptop (that's all that Teamviewer is used for)
  • Connect to Unichip's VPN
  • Launch the port forwarder software on laptop
  • Sit back for 15 minutes which Unichip's Engineer changes the config of the software on your stereo. While this is happening, you're basically flying blind (other than watching the byte count on the VPN status)
  • Stereo reboots and Android Auto is enabled
  • Unplug the laptop from your car
  • Plug your phone into the USB port - and smile as Android Auto launches!
I listed the steps above to evaluate your personal comfort level. It was pretty straightforward, but if your response to any of the steps above is "huh?", I suggest you find a geek friend to help.

I couple of initial thoughts:
  • My car did not have the CarPlay option - so that's not a requirement to do this. This does NOT enable CarPlay.
  • The USB NIC that arrived in the kit did not successfully connect to my car. I instead used a J5CREATE JUE130 ($24 on Amazon), and it succesfully connected. There are other threads on the forum on how our PCM system is finnicky about which NICs work.
  • The missing interior pieces in the photo below have nothing to do with the Unichip install. That's from when I removed the Naviplus unit earlier this week. I left them off in case this didn't work (thankfull it did!) and I needed to re-install the Naviplus hardware.
  • Keep in mind that the Engineer your working with is located in Hong Kong / China time zone. As such, we were doing this at 8PM Pacific time -- not when I rolled out of bed on a saturday morning.
  • Since I'm essentially giving a hacker access to my PC, I used a spare "burner" laptop. I did not use my primary laptop for security reasons. I have no reason to believe that anything inappropriate was done with my PC - but I'm an IT guy so more paranoid about security that the average bear.
  • There's a risk that this software config may disappear on a future service visit to Porsche Dealer for service. If Porsche Service Tech updates the PCM Software in my stereo, I suspect the config will return to "factory" and I'll lose Android Auto. If that happens, I'll just have UniChip update the config again.
  • The UniChip Engineer was a pleasure to work with. Good customer service.
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This looks pretty straight forward, assuming you have a burner laptop. I still wish there was a wifi dongle that could be added in the mix so that we could use wireless AA.
 

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@shappy there are dongles for wireless carplay. i'm not sure about wireless AA.
 

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Thanks for the post. Looks reasonably cost effective as well!

It says if you already have Apple Carplay to email them for Android Auto. I'm wondering if this means the activation procedure is different if you already have Carplay?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the post. Looks reasonably cost effective as well!

It says if you already have Apple Carplay to email them for Android Auto. I'm wondering if this means the activation procedure is different if you already have Carplay?
I suspect it's the same procedure but perhaps different config files that they send you on the SD card. I know that I was asked to send photos of the two "Software Version Info" screens along as part of my order.
 

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I suspect it's the same procedure but perhaps different config files that they send you on the SD card. I know that I was asked to send photos of the two "Software Version Info" screens along as part of my order.
I had CarPlay, and the process to light up AA looks to have been exactly the same as what @roberth described above. I agree, the config files might be the only difference.
 

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As background, I've been trying to get a good Android Auto solution in my 2018 718 Boxter GTS since I first got the car. Late 2019, I unstalled the Naviplus unit (the hardware box) -- it was OK, but was never a clean "OEM-like" integration. I removed that hardware from my car last week (it will be on eBay shortly) and went with the Unichip solution this week -- and happy to say that it works!

This is the solution --> https://www.unichip-tec.com/porsche_android_auto_activation_via_usb.html

This is not a hardware add-on (like NaviPlus or KAP trader). This is not a full-blown Android computer (like ROIK). Instead, it's a software config to activate the Android Auto code that's already sitting inside of our PCM 4.0 units. Our PCM stereos (made by Harmann, like most other OEM stereos) supports Android Auto out of the box - but Porsche doesn't enable that (I'm guessing due to privacy concerns). What the Unichip team does is simply activate this feature in our stereo.

In short, it's pretty elegant. Very OEM, very clean. As an earlier post mentioned, I've seen one little glitch (blurry text on one since icon on home screen) - but that's super minor. aka it's really clean and works great --- including integration into factory mic.

If you have a decent technology background (e.g. strong windows networking skills), then it's a pretty easy install. If you have no idea what a subnet mask is or how to config a VPN connection, then call a friend to help you with the install :)

To do this config (I'm calling it a config, not an install - since you're not installing any physical thing to the car):
  • Order the kit from UniChip (using the link above). It includes a USB NIC and and SD card with config files. It arrived from Hong Kong in about 1 week.
  • Find a Windows laptop and download / install TeamViewer (it's free desktop sharing / remote control software)
  • Put the SD Card with the config files into the car's SD Card Slot (the slot on the left)
  • Turn on the car (Engine on key position)
  • Connect laptop to two seperate network connections: (1) your regular connection to the internet, and (2) a wired Ethernet connection to you car, via the USB port in the car (see photo below)
  • Make sure your laptop has an ethernet link to the car (ip address 172.16.250.248 is the stereo's IP address)
  • Install Unichip's port forwarder software on your laptop
  • Shut off windows firewall and antivirus software on your laptop
  • Use WhatsApp to communicate in real-time with the Unichip Engineer. I was very pleased with his communication and support skills.
  • UniChip's tech logs onto your PC via TeamViewer to check / verify the config of your laptop (that's all that Teamviewer is used for)
  • Connect to Unichip's VPN
  • Launch the port forwarder software on laptop
  • Sit back for 15 minutes which Unichip's Engineer changes the config of the software on your stereo. While this is happening, you're basically flying blind (other than watching the byte count on the VPN status)
  • Stereo reboots and Android Auto is enabled
  • Unplug the laptop from your car
  • Plug your phone into the USB port - and smile as Android Auto launches!
I listed the steps above to evaluate your personal comfort level. It was pretty straightforward, but if your response to any of the steps above is "huh?", I suggest you find a geek friend to help.

I couple of initial thoughts:
  • My car did not have the CarPlay option - so that's not a requirement to do this. This does NOT enable CarPlay.
  • The USB NIC that arrived in the kit did not successfully connect to my car. I instead used a J5CREATE JUE130 ($24 on Amazon), and it succesfully connected. There are other threads on the forum on how our PCM system is finnicky about which NICs work.
  • The missing interior pieces in the photo below have nothing to do with the Unichip install. That's from when I removed the Naviplus unit earlier this week. I left them off in case this didn't work (thankfull it did!) and I needed to re-install the Naviplus hardware.
  • Keep in mind that the Engineer your working with is located in Hong Kong / China time zone. As such, we were doing this at 8PM Pacific time -- not when I rolled out of bed on a saturday morning.
  • Since I'm essentially giving a hacker access to my PC, I used a spare "burner" laptop. I did not use my primary laptop for security reasons. I have no reason to believe that anything inappropriate was done with my PC - but I'm an IT guy so more paranoid about security that the average bear.
  • There's a risk that this software config may disappear on a future service visit to Porsche Dealer for service. If Porsche Service Tech updates the PCM Software in my stereo, I suspect the config will return to "factory" and I'll lose Android Auto. If that happens, I'll just have UniChip update the config again.
  • The UniChip Engineer was a pleasure to work with. Good customer service.
View attachment 27791 View attachment 27792
I've purchased and received my kit which consist of a cable, and adapter and an SD card. There are no instructions or activation codes. Thus far Unichip has been unresponsive to my emails. What am i missing here?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've purchased and received my kit which consist of a cable, and adapter and an SD card. There are no instructions or activation codes. Thus far Unichip has been unresponsive to my emails. What am i missing here?
There's no activation key - you just give them your order number once you reach the tech.

Start by downloading the attached doc to ensure you can connect to the LAN in the car. Note that the doc says "Carplay" but it's the same instruction for Android Auto.

Once you can ping 172.16.250.248 (the IP address of the PCM), then you are ready to contact Unichip's tech and get the install started.

You'll reach them to start the install via What's App -- that way you'll be able to go back & forth live. Keep in mind they are in Asia, so Hong Kong time zone (aka, they are just coming online right about now).

On WhatsApp, hit them at +86 188 2334 4857 -- that's Gary Lau. He's the guy that will do the work for you. I hope that helps!
 

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Just an update to this post. I have this installed now and it works exactly as expected. The best part was that Sprint/T-Mo just offered me a free line (yes, really free) so I took a spare Android phone and hooked it up to the new line and just have it in my glovebox. It does all the processing and stays out of sight, plugged in ready to use whenever I drive.

Also, no issues with the manual transmission and the factory backup camera coming on when AA is running.

Really happy with this setup. Yes, I was very apprehensive about giving access to my laptop to a total stranger. I did mitigate this by running things in Sandboxie as well as using my daughter's laptop, which is not used for anything sensitive. While I can't say for sure that nothing nefarious was done, it did not appear that anything was loaded that didn't belong or was running after they were done.

If you want Android Auto in the cleanest package possible, I would say this is currently it.
 

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Great to see people having success with what appears to be a really straight forward solution for AA. Seems like Unichip have a good reputation for providing AA and Carplay hardware systems for Porsches for many years but this is the first software based system, presumably due to PCM4.

I appreciate the security concerns but I can't imagine they going to hack your laptop or break your PCM. That would not be good for their business and I'm sure that sort of behaviour would spread quickly! Nevertheless, using a second laptop is a good idea.

Does anyone know if this version of AA will run the Porsche Track Precision Ap on the PCM screen? Perhaps someone could load it and let me know?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great to see people having success with what appears to be a really straight forward solution for AA. Seems like Unichip have a good reputation for providing AA and Carplay hardware systems for Porsches for many years but this is the first software based system, presumably due to PCM4.

I appreciate the security concerns but I can't imagine they going to hack your laptop or break your PCM. That would not be good for their business and I'm sure that sort of behaviour would spread quickly! Nevertheless, using a second laptop is a good idea.

Does anyone know if this version of AA will run the Porsche Track Precision Ap on the PCM screen? Perhaps someone could load it and let me know?
I dont have the Porsche Conect option (hence can't create wifi connection for Track Precision App) - so unable to test this for you.
 

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Yea, I tried and its looking for a wifi-based connection (not usb-networking), so it just wont connect. I think you also need to have the "SC" option appear on the normal home screen (I dont) for the 'app' to be available (just a guess). I asked Unichip about it, and they said they have not been successful in activating that.

"The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) version 4.0, as well as the equipment options Connect Plus and Sport Chrono Package are required to use the app. "

I was thinking about trying to see if I could get an ethernet to wireless box, plug the unichip ethernet adapter into that, and then make it look like the car had a hotspot, but also a lot of issues then with making sure everyone is on the same subnet... and then I got distracted by a fly and dropped the idea...
 

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Yea, I tried and its looking for a wifi-based connection (not usb-networking), so it just wont connect. I think you also need to have the "SC" option appear on the normal home screen (I dont) for the 'app' to be available (just a guess). I asked Unichip about it, and they said they have not been successful in activating that.

"The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) version 4.0, as well as the equipment options Connect Plus and Sport Chrono Package are required to use the app. "

I was thinking about trying to see if I could get an ethernet to wireless box, plug the unichip ethernet adapter into that, and then make it look like the car had a hotspot, but also a lot of issues then with making sure everyone is on the same subnet... and then I got distracted by a fly and dropped the idea...
Are you saying the Porsche Track Precision Ap does not work with Unichip AA software update?

With the OEM Carplay and Iphone connected via USB, I still need to connect to the PCMs wifi hotspot for it to work.
 

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I have a car with SC, and Australian version of Connect+ in 2017 which did not include any hotspot connectivity. ANyone know if the PCM4 still has the hotsport hardware and can be enabled? I would love to have the hotspot so I could use the track precision app.
 

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Are you saying the Porsche Track Precision Ap does not work with Unichip AA software update?

With the OEM Carplay and Iphone connected via USB, I still need to connect to the PCMs wifi hotspot for it to work.
No, I'm saying it doesnt give it to you, as I have SC but no Wifi, so I dont get the "SC" options on the PCM, so I can't use the App anyway. I asked the unichip guys if they figured out a way to enable it without wifi built in. they said no.

I was going to try the unichip ethernet connected to my laptop running the track app on bluestacks to see if the networking would work and make it connect, but I gave up on that idea as pure folly.
 
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Update: So its been working great so far, but I wanted wireless android auto so...

I'm a beta tester for AAWireless (AAWireless) , which is basically a USB dongle with bluetooth and wifi built in. So Unichip Android Auto + AAwireless == Wireless Android Auto working perfectly :)

PXL_20200926_195113930.NIGHT.jpg

Plug the AAWireless device into the USB port, and then just pair to the bluetooth provided by AAWireless, and it connects you to its own builtin wifi automatically, and you're done. nearly lag-less. I do NOT have Porsche Connect (builtin wifi or SIM card slot), FWIW.
 
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