Does Tesla Have Apple CarPlay? We Take a Look at Why Tesla Doesn’t Include It

By Kevin Armstrong
CarPlay is available on 98% of new vehicles
CarPlay is available on 98% of new vehicles
Car and Driver

For everything that Teslas offer, these incredible vehicles are missing something available in nearly every other new automobile — Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto.

Apple and Google released their vehicle user interfaces back in 2014. Yet, eight years and countless requests later, Tesla still doesn't support CarPlay or Android Auto.

While Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk has never given an official explanation, there's plenty of speculation about why the dominant electric vehicle manufacturer does not support these features.

Why Tesla doesn't support CarPlay and Android Auto

First and foremost, Tesla develops its own software that is miles ahead of traditional car manufacturers.

The huge benefit that other manufacturers gain by integrating CarPlay just isn't as crucial in a Tesla, which already offers intuitive, responsive software with many features.

Many apps on a phone that would be useful in a vehicle are already available in a Tesla, from navigation, Spotify, phone integration, text messaging, karaoke, to a web browser and more. Although Tesla doesn't have a robust app store like Apple and Google, it does offer features that cover common use cases.

However, it's understandable the craving some users may have for CarPlay or Android Auto if Tesla doesn't support their favorite streaming service, such as Amazon Music, SiriusXM or even voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.

Although you're able to listen to music through Apple Music, and Spotify, watch Netflix and YouTube on the car's large display through Tesla's software, there will always be more options and features on a phone, regardless of how many features Tesla includes.

Seamless Experience

One reason for not integrating CarPlay or Android Auto into Teslas is that these systems would break up the Tesla experience.

CarPlay and Android Auto currently operate in their own, separate experiences. This requires you to first pull up CarPlay and then perform your desired task, such as setting your destination or switching music.

In traditional vehicles, this isn't much of an issue since CarPlay or Android Auto (AA) usually take over the middle infotainment display. This allows CarPlay or AA to remain on screen, which means that you can just tap the app you want.

However, in a Tesla, software features are very tightly integrated, and the addition of CarPlay/AA would break up the seamless experience Tesla currently offers.

For example, in a Model Y music and navigation are usually both displayed on the vehicle's screen at the same time, something that is not currently possible with CarPlay.

In addition, if the driver maximizes the music player or launches a different app in a Tesla, then Tesla displays navigation information on the left side of the screen, keeping the driver aware of the next turn.

If the driver receives a text message while driving, the driver can see and hear the message being received, regardless of which app is on screen.

However, since all of CarPlay's features only work in a CarPlay window, this kind of flexibility and integration isn't possible.

Duplicate Experience

Incorporating CarPlay or Android Auto duplicates a lot of features Tesla already has and removes the ability for Tesla to deep link apps and features.

For example, in a Tesla you could have the maps, phone, calendar, Spotify and other apps in the vehicle's launcher, giving you one-tap access to the app

For example, imagine if you had Google Maps open and you wanted to view your backup camera then open Spotify. In a Tesla, you'd tap the camera in the launcher, then tap Spotify. Two taps.

However, if you wanted to perform the same actions with CarPlay, this would take significantly longer. You'd first tap the camera icon in Tesla's launcher, then tap to go back to CarPlay, but you'd still have to go 'Home' on the CarPlay interface, then find Spotify. That's four taps, assuming Spotify was on the first page of CarPlay's home screen.

Since CarPlay acts as a secondary experience this will often increase the number of taps to get to certain information.

CarPlay also duplicates many features in a vehicle which results in some confusion since there are multiple apps for the same thing, such as navigation and music.

This issue is only exacerbated in a Tesla since Tesla offers so many of the same features as CarPlay such as maps, messages, phone, calendar, podcasts, etc.

New CarPlay Experience

Apple shows off the new CarPlay coming next year
Apple shows off the new CarPlay coming next year
Apple

Apple revealed a significantly improved CarPlay experience at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference. Emily Schubert, Apple's Senior Manager of Car Experience Engineering, said the company has "been working with automakers to reinvent the in-car experience across all the drivers' screens." The redesigned CarPlay appears much more customizable, and it's said to seamlessly integrate into vehicles instead of having a CarPlay window or taking over the entire screen.

This may be an experience that would suit Teslas much more than Apple's current offering, however, there's something else that is likely preventing Tesla from incorporating Apple's or Google's auto interface.

The Future of the Vehicle

Vehicles have traditionally been about getting you to your destination, however, that's now shifting. No one wants a car that just gets them to their desired location, they want to get there as safely as possible and be entertained on the way.

As this shift continues and we approach an autonomous future, vehicles will be much more about software and their entertainment offerings.

The next generation of car makers will not be decided by how they drive, but by how autonomous they are and what software features they offer.

Future Competition

While many pit Tesla against Volkswagen, Toyota and others, these are merely short-term obstacles for Tesla.

Tesla's true competitors have yet to emerge, but they'll be in the form of powerful tech companies such as Apple and Google. Companies that not only have strong design and AI foundations but also have access to a large user base and a dominant platform.

When a manufacturer incorporates CarPlay or Android Auto, they're giving up a great deal of control to Apple or Google.

They're not only giving up control though, they're giving up the opportunity to build a vehicle platform and a loyal user base.

If Tesla added CarPlay and Android Auto to their vehicles, they'd be helping their upcoming competitors by giving them control of a market they already know will decide the next big players - the inside of the automobile.

AirPlay

But there is another solution that may keep Apple users and Tesla happy — the use of AirPlay. This capability enables pairing a phone to an audio device to stream music or podcasts. AirPlay is not available in cars yet, but it would not be much of a leap to include the option with Tesla already equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities. Elon Musk recently left the door open for that development.

In May 2022, Musk responded to a tweet. @JacobB1290H wrote: "The speaker system in Teslas are so good, but we are limited by the quality of Bluetooth. Could we have AirPlay added? It adds the ability for lossless streaming. The hardware necessary is already there."

Musk responded: "Will discuss this and other improvements with Tesla audio engineering. The new Model S and X sound system is incredible." His tweet generated 11.6k likes and 440 retweets.

Will Tesla Need to Give In?

At least one developer has created a workaround to add CarPlay to Teslas. Michal Gapinski developed a solution that allows you to take a Raspberry Pi and connect it to your vehicle to incorporate CarPlay into the vehicle's browser.

While the solution is great, it does require some tech knowledge to get working. While this gives some users what they want, it puts even more pressure on Tesla to develop a native solution.

During the 2022 Apple event, the company stated that CarPlay is a must-have feature for people who are car shopping. According to Apple, 79 percent of buyers in the United States would only consider a vehicle that is CarPlay-capable. The company also says that CarPlay is already available in 98 percent of cars in the U.S.

These numbers put Tesla and other EV manufacturers such as Rivian in a difficult position. They understand the future of the EV, but at the same time, their users are demanding access to CarPlay and Android Auto.

Cybertruck Gets Tracks and YouTuber Tests Out Cybertruck's Bulletproof Claim [VIDEO]

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck gets tracks in this inspiring mod
Cybertruck gets tracks in this inspiring mod

A glance at X at any moment reveals a continuous stream of fresh, intriguing, and sometimes eccentric content revolving around the Cybertruck. Since its production debut in December 2023, Tesla's latest sensation has commanded attention. Cybertruck's presence grows with each new owner, spawning a flurry of YouTube videos, social media posts on X, and articles across news outlets.

Bullet Test: Adin Ross's Impact

YouTuber Adin Ross recently subjected the vehicle to gunfire, testing its ability to withstand ballistic impacts. Ross's video, which gained significant traction online, captured the Cybertruck enduring 9mm ammunition without sustaining critical damage, further validating Tesla's claims of creating an apocalypse-proof vehicle. While such extreme tests may seem unconventional, they underscore Cybertruck's reputation for toughness and resilience in challenging environments.

Thwarting Break-In Attempts

Beyond its celebrity allure, the Cybertruck has proven its practicality in real-world scenarios, demonstrating its resilience against break-in attempts. Recent incidents have highlighted the vehicle's robust construction, with its stainless steel exterior and shatter-resistant windows effectively deterring vandalism. Despite attempts to breach the vehicle's security, the Cybertruck emerged relatively unscathed, reaffirming its status as a reliable choice for safety-conscious consumers.

Snow Trax Modification

One of the most captivating developments surrounding Cybertruck is the innovative CyberTrax modification, spearheaded by automotive modification luminary Dave Sparks. With an eye for adventure and a penchant for pushing boundaries, Sparks has embarked on a project that promises to transform the Cybertruck into a snow-conquering beast. The CyberTrax modification, aimed at enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities, has garnered widespread attention and support, even earning recognition from Tesla itself.

Toughness on Display

The Cybertruck's durability extends beyond security features, as evidenced by its performance in road accidents. In instances of rear-end collisions, the vehicle's stainless steel exoskeleton has shown remarkable resilience, minimizing damage and ensuring occupant safety. While concerns persist regarding the lack of a traditional crumple zone, Cybertruck's design philosophy prioritizes structural integrity, providing peace of mind for drivers in unforeseen circumstances.

Celebrity Ownership Expands

The list of celebrities acquiring a Cybertruck continues to grow. Music icon, Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent purchase of a Cybertruck, styled in a sleek matte black finish reminiscent of a Batmobile, made the roads on social media. The power couple's endorsement of the Cybertruck reinforces its status as a symbol of luxury and innovation in the automotive world. Their Cybertruck delivery came just days after Kim Kardashian lit up social media with her “Cool Car Pool Mom” post.

Range Exceeds Expectations

Edmunds put the Cybertruck to the test, equipped with all-terrain tires. The vehicle surpassed initial estimates by covering 334 miles (537km) on a single charge, outperforming advertised figures and showcasing its efficiency on the road. For more range, Tesla has a range extender available.

Ramping Up Production and Expansion

As Tesla continues to ramp up production of the Cybertruck, anticipation grows for its availability in international markets. With early units already sold in the U.S., Tesla's Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development has confirmed plans for expansion into Canada, signaling further growth opportunities for the electric pickup. Despite regulatory challenges in certain regions, Tesla remains committed to delivering the Cybertruck's innovative design to a global audience.

In conclusion, Tesla's Cybertruck continues to captivate audiences with its groundbreaking performance, celebrity endorsements, and ongoing advancements. From surpassing range expectations to withstanding gunfire, the Cybertruck has proven its mettle in various real-world scenarios, reaffirming its status as a revolutionary addition to the automotive landscape.

Tesla Updates App, Adds Chat Assistant and New Menus [Updated]

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings

Today, Tesla has updated its app to introduce a new menu that reorganizes vehicle, home energy, and account settings in a more logical and more discoverable manner.

App Update

Tesla updated its app to version 4.30 back on February 15th for iOS and followed suit with an Android update shortly thereafter. The app update included some significant changes such as a new Home Energy demo, Wall Connector charging charts, and a better view of your last Supercharger session.

However, the addition of the new menu arrived today thanks to under-the-hood changes Tesla had already made.

Chat Assistant

Tesla has added a presumably AI-based chat assistant to help out with common customer queries. The assistant button can be found in the support section of the app, which is now accessed by tapping on the new menu at the top right corner of the app. Once the menu is open, tap the question mark icon to open the support section. At the bottom of the screen, you should see a chat bubble that will bring up the chat assistant.

Tesla added a chat assistant to its app
Tesla added a chat assistant to its app

The assistant starts by asking you which product you need help with. Afterward, you can ask it any question. Right now the assistant appears to bring up mostly relevant parts of the owner’s manual or Tesla’s support pages, without necessarily answering the question directly. For example, asking it a specific question such as ‘Until what state of charge will Sentry Mode remain activated?’ will bring up a section about Sentry Mode, and not immediately reveal that Sentry Mode will automatically turn off when the vehicle reaches 20% state of charge.

It’s not immediately clear whether Tesla is using AI for this feature, but providing an assistant is a great idea and one that will likely ease the burden on Tesla service. Hopefully, Tesla will continue to build upon the feature so that it becomes more useful and can answer customer questions directly.

New Menu

The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update
The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update

The main change in the app is the new menu which replaces the user's profile picture.

Since this area was already used to change Tesla account and app settings and Tesla product preferences, the menu icon is more intuitive than an avatar.

However, after tapping into the menu, the user is greeted with a completely reorganized section. Instead of featuring horizontally scrolling tiles for different products and features, which was getting fairly long, Tesla has consolidated the features and now presents them vertically.

In the new profile section, Tesla has grouped lumped in account information and app settings. This includes personal information, order history as well as app settings, including calendar sync and app notifications.

Charging is now a top-level feature instead of being buried in the Account section. This section highlights your most recent Supercharger charging session which was redesigned during the 4.30 app update. It also lets you manage your payment method and view your Supercharger history.

My Products is the new way to add or remove Tesla products from your account. It now nicely displays all of your existing Tesla products and lets you dig into each one. By diving into each product, you're able to give access to another user, remove the product from your Tesla account if applicable, rename the product, or jump into the product view.

Vehicle and Home Screens

If you have a Tesla vehicle and a Home product, such as Solar or a Wall Connector, the way to switch between products is to swipe to the side. However, this wasn't very intuitive and Tesla has now added a dropdown next to the Home or Vehicle name that brings up a quick menu that lets you jump to other products.

If you already have app version 4.30, there's no need to update your app, just open the existing app and you should see the new menu in the top right. However, if you're still on Tesla app 4.29.5 or earlier, head over to the app store and upgrade to the latest Tesla app to see these new features.

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