What’s the difference between VAG-COM and an OBD-II Scan-Tool?

1.Will there be a Mac or Linux version?

There will be no “native” Mac or Linux versions. The time and effort required to “port” VAG-COM to these platforms would never be worthwhile. One person has gotten VAG-COM running under Linux using WINE — click here for details. Another person has managed to get VAG-COM working on a MAC with Virtual PC – click here. Neither of those examples are supported by Ross-Tech.

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2.Will there be a Windows-CE/PocketPC/WindowsMobile or Palm-OS version?

Possibly at some point in the future, but we don’t have a timetable yet. We conducted a poll of current and potential VAG-COM users about where we should concentrate development efforts. The results:

(1)75 % Improving and adding features to the Windows version
(2)11 % Porting VAG-COM to Windows CE / PocketPC
(3)9 % Porting VAG-COM to Palm
(4)3 % Porting VAG-COM to LINUX
(5)2 % Porting VAG-COM to Macintosh

Some of our customers use VAG 18.2 on a tablet PC such as a Fujitsu Stylistic or on an ultra-portable PC such as a Toshiba Libretto. These can be purchased inexpensively on auction sites. These REAL PC’s work wonderfully and have very small form factors (the Libretto is about the size of a VHS video cassette).

What’s the difference between VAG-COM and an OBD-II Scan-Tool?

OBD-II is a government mandated diagnostic protocol that is primarily aimed at diagnosing emissions-related problems. An OBD-II scan tool will work in many different brands of cars. VAG-COM uses VW’s proprietary diagnostic protocol and will only work in VW/Audi vehicles. Although you can use an OBD-II Scan Tool in an OBD-II compliant (1996 or newer) VW or Audi, an OBD-II Scan Tool can only talk to the engine, not the numerous other “intelligent” systems in the car. Want to reprogram your central locks or your Radio? Diagnose a problem with your ABS, Airbags, or Automatic Transmission? Re-align your Immobilizer after swapping ECU’s? Reset your Service Reminder Indicators? Communicate with a pre-1996 model (not OBD-II compliant) car? An OBD-II Scan-Tool can’t do any of these things. Please see our OBD-II Page for information on using third party generic OBD-II software through our Interface. Want some reasons to choose VAG-COM over a generic OBD-II scan tool? See this Real World Comparison.
Our latest version of VAG-COM adds Generic OBD-II functionality, see the Download Page for more info.

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