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A simple reason Tesla should add CarPlay to Model 3

A simple reason Tesla should add CarPlay to Model 3

I have read various debates about whether in fact CarPlay should be a feature on Tesla. Many of them come out against because Tesla offers much functionality in its own apps, and because you can simply tether your phone.

These arguments miss something simple: it is legal to use CarPlay while driving (or at a red light) just as it is legal to use your radio. It is illegal to use your cell phone.

I think we can all agree that for example for Podcasts, iPhone has far superior apps (eg Overcast) than the Podcast app in the Tesla. Why do I have to illegally fumble with my phone to play a podcast when CarPlay offers the perfect, legal solution?

bjrosen | 11. August 2019

I would love to see then add Android Auto but I doubt it would happen. You can make a phone call with the M3's software, the Tesla app uploads your contact list from your phone, at least it does for the Google contact list on an Android phone. You can also just use Bluetooth to make a call, I've done it by just saying OK Google call so and so but that's not a great interface when it's not connected to the screen. Tesla's software lacks some basic functions that Android Auto has. It uploads the phone numbers from your contact list but not the addresses so you can't easily navigate to someone in your contact list (If I'm wrong about this I'd be delighted to hear that, please explain what the procedure is). Tesla has only one streaming service built in, you can stream others from your phone via Bluetooth but the sound quality is poorer then it should be and it's an awkward user interface because you are limited to voice commands, Android Auto would fix that. Also Google Maps and Waze are better than Tesla's navigation, Google Maps offers you a choice of routes, can Avoid Highways, shows traffic jams, has multiple stops, Tesla's nav has none of that. Google has vastly more resources to throw at Maps and Waze than Tesla so it will always be ahead. However unless Tesla decides to integrate Android Automotive (the version that doesn't require a phone) I dont' see how they could implement AA. The USB plugs in the M3 are for power only, AA and Car Play require data connections. There is a wireless version of AA now so maybe that would be possible but I suspect that Tesla is simply uninterested in using anybody else's software.

Bighorn | 11. August 2019

I’ve never listened to a podcast through the phone. Just use the car’s app to stream it. Plus I don’t think Tesla wants to pay Apple for licensing

tesla | 11. August 2019

I believe CarPlay and Android auto can work wirelessly. https://youtu.be/imyqf5CfZ1M

tesla | 11. August 2019

@Bighorn the problem is Tesla’s podcast app is terrible. It doesn’t offer playlists, it forgets where you are in the episode, it doesn’t sync to the cloud in case you want to continue on another device, etc. I would guess anyone who is a serious podcast listener gave up on the internal podcast player long ago. But that’s just one example... let’s talk about Spotify now (legal to use with CarPlay, illegal if you are fumbling with your phone)

tesla | 11. August 2019

@Bighorn, re licensing fees, the cheapest crappiest cars have CarPlay which leads me to believe Apple’s license fee is not very high. Plus there’s this thing called charging the customer for an option on the car which is always available to them....

FISHEV | 11. August 2019

You would think the reverse that Apple and Google would pay the car mfgs to have their apps work in the car as that’s where they make their money, subscription fees apps and content.

In Tesla’s case with the car controls in the tablet, creating a sandbox for Apple or Google to play in, might be too great a risk and too much overhead for the tablet computer.

jstat10 | 11. August 2019

There seem to be readily available APIs for Spotify and Slacker, so it was probably very easy for Tesla to support them, given they already have a web browser. Looking at the CarPlay docs gives me a headache.

howard | 11. August 2019

I love CarPlay on my other cars/ truck. Should be an option on the Tesla even if I needed to pay. Would like to keep my phone in my pocket where it belongs. Text messaging is the big one for me.

andy | 11. August 2019

Lack of CarPlay and lack of a variable speed limiter were my two biggest concerns when buying.

These things are standard on other cars.

Scarab | 11. August 2019

Having using both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, I honestly can't say I like either of them. Personally they both feel like they would be a downgrade to the current Tesla system. I would much rather see Tesla continue adding standard functions to Bluetooth such text messaging (coming soon), cell phone battery and signal strength display, being able to specify which number for a person you want to call (mobile, work, home, etc), and answering calls without taking your hand off the wheel.

rxlawdude | 11. August 2019

@brian +1.

Tesla must remain neutral in the battle between iOS and Android. Only providing support for one of those will alienate those using the other technology.

TeslaTap.com | 11. August 2019

@andy - Other things standard on most non-Teslas
- Pollution generating gas engines
- Ugly styling
- Expensive fueling costs
- Endless maintenance
- Crummy UI
- Unable to fuel at home
- Tiny display (if it has one)
- No new features or software after purchase
- Long out of date maps unless you pay $150/year & visit dealer
- Reduced safety

Yep, Tesla's don't have every single feature in existence, but neither do other automakers.

@brianhgilbert +1, Sorry to say I agree, but it may be my use case. Never use podcasts or want to text while driving.

The reason others stick in CarPlay, is the software the automakers make in house is so awful and out of date they really had no choice but to add something slightly better to these crummy systems.

andy | 11. August 2019

@teslatap - I agree, nobody has made a perfect car yet.

Most of your points relate to legacy petrol/diesel cars. Having gone EV last year then I won’t go back. As far as I’m aware only Tesla and BMW omit CarPlay from their EVs (I may be wrong about the BMW).

Styling is subjective. I’m looking forward to Tesla launching a hatchback. The Model 3 will be my first saloon. Most people here go for hatchbacks for practicality. Traditionally, saloons were reps’ cars - you could lock your samples in the boot!

There are reasons why I am adding a Model 3. Having gone EV my expectations have changed and I now need an EV that has the range and flexibility of a legacy car with the added benefits of an EV. On the journeys where I use the Tesla then I will miss features that I consider near-essential, but Tesla have a monopoly once you want true range.

On CarPlay - access to audio books among other features.

The Model 3 does drive well.

andy | 11. August 2019

@teslatap - I agree, nobody has made a perfect car yet.

Most of your points relate to legacy petrol/diesel cars. Having gone EV last year then I won’t go back. As far as I’m aware only Tesla and BMW omit CarPlay from their EVs (I may be wrong about the BMW).

Styling is subjective. I’m looking forward to Tesla launching a hatchback. The Model 3 will be my first saloon. Most people here go for hatchbacks for practicality. Traditionally, saloons were reps’ cars - you could lock your samples in the boot!

There are reasons why I am adding a Model 3. Having gone EV my expectations have changed and I now need an EV that has the range and flexibility of a legacy car with the added benefits of an EV. On the journeys where I use the Tesla then I will miss features that I consider near-essential, but Tesla have a monopoly once you want true range.

On CarPlay - access to audio books among other features.

The Model 3 does drive well.

FISHEV | 11. August 2019

"but Tesla have a monopoly once you want true range."!@andy

That's changing quickly. Just did a PDX-Seattle trip into downtown Seattle then up Shoreline for a function. The EVgp Chademo/CCS charges at REI were easier access that Tesla's downtown Semi-Super Charger (only 70kW) which were locked in a pay to access garage that had AM-PM open/closing hours to boot. They are listed as 120 kW SuperChargers but were 70kW urban chargers.

The charging station in Lynnwood had 2/10 out of commission, a two car line to charge and just the 72kW rated chargers. If I had a pure CCS car, the Electrify American station was open and had 2 x 120 kW chargers a mile away to use. Plus 2 x at downtown REI.

So definitely doable with a CCS enabled EV.

sbvictory | 11. August 2019

You might be an Apple fan, wait for a few years and buy an Apple Car instead of Tesla. Then you have all of the apple features you want.

andy | 11. August 2019

It’s not about fandom, it’s about consumer expectations and requirements.

There’s space for multiple brands. As I see it Tesla concentrates in the batteries, drivetrain and infrastructure, other manufacturers are giving people the cabin designs and features that people are used to.

In the UK there is a charging network that I really like, but their points are 50kWh (as are most of the free-to-use rapid chargers). That will change.

I need a long range car now that doesn’t need more than splash and dash stops. The only choice is Tesla if I want long range and easy access to a higher speed charging network. I’ve compromised on my other requirements due to the need for range. I will be uncomfortable without some of the features that I have come to expect, but less uncomfortable than if I was forced to drive my legacy car.

carlk | 11. August 2019

@Bighorn
***Plus I don’t think Tesla wants to pay Apple for licensing***

It's much more than just Tesla does not want to pay Apple and Google for licensing. Tesla, Apple and Google are competitors in this new car OS arena. Tesla, the leader at this moment, just does not want to let the trojan horse gets inside its cars. Others don't have a choice because they don't have the technology. They will end up just WinTel box makers when cars in the future become computer on wheels. Tesla will be the only one that will resemble the current Apple ecosystem.

https://humanizing.tech/the-new-battleground-car-operating-systems-60959...

FISHEV | 11. August 2019

"Tesla, Apple and Google are competitors in this new car OS arena."carlk

Can't see anyone wanting to buy Tesla's inconsistent Auto Pilot system. Reverse if anything, nice to Tesla purchase Subaru's Eyesight and stop the distraction of "Full Self Driving" which is lowing EV adoption by raising prices and lower consumer confidence in Tesla's autos.

VoltAir | 11. August 2019

I hope, Tesla will NEVER open the car SW to such data collecting and abusing systems like Android or IOS. There are too many risks of hacking into sensible areas, both privacy and security.
I wouldn't like anyone to take over my car remotely, nor misuse my private data, which could be the case if external apps could be added at random. Hopefully the Tesla add-ons (like some funny gimmicks, games, etc.) are well shielded against any intruder.
If you are careless about data integrity, lets hope, Tesla sticks to its own ideal of delivering the safest car of all. This includes all kinds of accident: crash into an other car, into a wall, and being caught by malicious software.

Mike83 | 11. August 2019

I like to use Google maps then share it with our Teslas. Love Tesla Nav and voice to call up any song I want to hear.
Why in the world would I want Apple? Also security issues are important. I trust Tesla, the others not so much.

carlk | 11. August 2019

Google, Apple, Facebook make most money by selling your data. It's an open secret. This will only get worse when AI become more prevalent that those places know more about you than you yourself. Those who feel I can't live without my iPhone for even one minute are welcomed to do so long as you are aware of the consequence.

TeslaTap.com | 11. August 2019

It's also funny that car makers, perhaps without knowing it, are rushing to provide all sorts of competitive information to Apple and Google. Both now have millions of cars collecting information on how the car is being used and where it goes. Should Apple/Google comes out with their own vehicles, they know exactly how to target these automaker's customers and steal sales. Apple could even run ads on every car that has CarPlay "Check out the new Apple car - so much better than the POS you're currently driving". Not sure automakers could even stop Apple from doing it, although I suspect Apple would refrain from doing something so blatant. Other than Tesla, automakers have totally lost control of the most important part of the car going forward. They just don't know it.

casun | 11. August 2019

did fishev just suggest that tesla ditch their own system and purchase suburu’s eyesight?

yes. yes he did. truly one of the dumbest things i’ve read in three years on this forum.

calvin940 | 11. August 2019

If Tesla chose to invest in one, I'd rather them support Android Auto. Apple is way to exclusionary and their eco system is offensive to me.

I had Android auto in the Sienna and liked it quite a bit. I thought I would miss it but I haven't really missed it. I quite like their current system and look forward to them just supporting more rather than choosing either Carplay or Android Auto.

lbowroom | 11. August 2019

See fish’s posts above identifying his true purpose, to promote anything but Tesla.

gballant4570 | 11. August 2019

"There’s space for multiple brands."
There certainly is - but there aren't other brands capable of occupying it well. Perhaps in part due to the statements below.

"As I see it Tesla concentrates in the batteries, drivetrain and infrastructure, other manufacturers are giving people the cabin designs and features that people are used to."
Exactly that - what they are used to. Or what they WERE used to. I however am now used to my Model 3, and cannot go back to cluttered, frozen, hardware driven vehicle interiors. They are most significantly INFERIOR.

coselectric | 11. August 2019

@brianhgilbert +1000

I drive rental cars all the time with Android Auto. It baffles me that anyone would seriously prefer that crappy interface to Tesla's interface.

Better podcasts, better streaming options, agreed. But the Android Auto interface is trash.

zerogravitydrgn | 11. August 2019

I have CarPlay in my truck. Like it because the stock system is so terrible. Don’t care at all about having it in my M3.

andy | 11. August 2019

@gballant4750 it’s not just about switches. The Tesla family hatchback hasn’t been launched yet. Our roads were largely designed for horses and handcarts. Our parking spaces are small. Small, agile hatchbacks are popular for a reason.

Tesla will continue to be highly successful and they are ahead of the market, but there is room for other manufacturers that understand local markets to slot alongside, if and when they catch up.

RedPillSucks | 12. August 2019

@FISHEV
Sorry, but I've got Subaru hindsight (or whatever its called) on my wifes outlook and it's nowhere close to being as good as autopilot

bddaughe | 13. August 2019

I had heard one of the main reasons they don't even consider carplay is because carplay expects to be able to take over a portion of the screen. Most screens on cars don't really display much important info, so it makes sense on those vehicles. But on the Tesla, almost the entire screen has useful info on it that I wouldn't want covered up by carplay.

Even so, can't you do apple podcasts over bluetooth? I've listened to songs in car from youtube before. Does the car prevent podcasts or apple music from playing over bluetooth?

Magic 8 Ball | 13. August 2019

@carlk Have you seen the movie "The great hack"? Tesla is identified as being right up there with Google and Facebook as being in the data business. Certainly not as large yet but Tesla has lots of data on their users and that data is big business.

bddaughe | 13. August 2019

@Magic, I recently saw that documentary and was also interested to hear them mention Tesla. I felt the entire doc was fascinating to see how far businesses/organizations are willing to go with data to make an edge. It's one of the reasons I do nothing on facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. Too many people have their entire life story in those apps.

BradPDX | 14. August 2019

CarPlay and Android Auto are great ways for auto makers to effectively "outsource" the software UI for their cars. The alternative is the crapola we've seen forever on cars, often years behind our phones.

BTW, both CarPlay and Android Auto are 100% proprietary, from Apple and Google. There are no open-source versions, thank goodness - auto makers liability lawyers wouldn't let them use that!

Having just spent a week with CarPlay on vacation, it was nice - and certainly a step up from the stock stuff in my non-Tesla rental. The problem with CarPlay/Android Auto for Tesla is overlap of functions, such as maps and to a lesser extent music. When driving my M3, I'd love to have screen access to my Music and Podcast apps from my iPhone, but I'd prefer to stick with Tesla's maps for the most part.

My solution? Siri. I connect to my M3 via Bluetooth as usual, then just shout into the air about music or podcasts. Voilà, it plays. I can even use my beloved Overcast podcast player with some Siri shortcuts, and I'm in pretty good shape.

airpor41 | 14. August 2019

Most importantly I would like the navigation improved. Only had the M3 just over a week but ran into 2 undesirable issues on our first trip: No off-line maps, poor routing.

We were driving over Santiam Pass in Oregon where we lose cell coverage for 30 - 45 minutes. My Android phone running Google Maps / Android Auto has everything all the time. The car loses everything but the pre-requested route. And it's made worse by the fact that the car takes a lot longer than my phone to re-establish the LTE connect.

Today headed out for a hike, it routed us to the trailhead on the other side of the Deschutes River (20 miles of dirt and gravel) instead of the correct routing to the trailhead on this side of the river, all pavement and handled perfectly by Google Maps.

Of course, neither of these was a real problem because I knew the route in both cases but if I was in a new place it would be poor. This is one of the reasons I carry an actual (i.e. wood pulp format) map book.

However, I love the car anyway. :-)

jebinc | 14. August 2019

Carplay/Android Auto would also bring WAZE.....

fazman | 14. August 2019

so why waste time with CarPlay or whatever fad for today... when what we really need is FSD and then we can all just use our phones while driving instead

Fossil Fool | 14. August 2019

My wife loves everything about my M3 except for the lack of CarPlay. I would gladly pay for it at this point.

Schwartzinator | 07. September 2019

Until Tesla offers an "avoid highways" option in navigation settings, I'd much prefer to have Apple Maps directly integrated into the center screen. Also, having options available for those who want them is a nice touch.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 07. September 2019

No.

peter_m_o | 22. September 2019

Even the Chevrolet Spark has Android Auto and Apple Car Play (and has since 2016). It also includes non Android Auto apps such as Pandora. Text messages are displayed on the infotainment. All standard in one of the cheapest new cars in the United States. Tesla is years ahead of every other manufacturer, except in this area. Copying mp3 files from my laptop to a USB drive is so 10 years ago.

TeslaTap.com | 22. September 2019

One reason other carmakers pick CarPlay, is the interface they provide range from bad to truly awful. They really had no choice, since they have no real inside software development teams or the software functionality is destroyed by upper management who likely have never used software before. Just had a 2019 Dodge rental. Even with a touch screen, it felt like it was created by an elementary school student's first software project. That may be too harsh on elementry school students.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 22. September 2019

TeslaTap is correct.

No support for software developed for mediocre hardware.

howard | 22. September 2019

CarPlay with latest iOS 13 and recent OTA my 2019 Volt is way ahead of my Tesla with the user interface. Each time I am in AZ it is refreshing to drive.