Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

I took a ride in my friends new Porsche the other day. He had a lot of great things to say about Apple CarPlay and in fact when he demonstrated it, it worked really well.

I love the Model S. However, the iPhone music/podcast integration is poor. I’ve read through the forums and people have been talking about this for a long time and nothing has come of it.

Forty three (43) other manufacturers have jumped on board. With all of the tech inside a Model S, I expect that 1) they would offer CarPlay, or 2) improve the iPhone integration so I could at least browse playlists.


dvanlier | 27. August 2016

I triple agree with you, the iPhone integration is pretty terrible. Also, I'm guessing the Porsche has more then 6 presets available.

rmg007 | 27. August 2016

Elon has said that Tesla is working on a mirroring solution. | 27. August 2016

There are two things that I'd like in my MS....CarPlay for me and wifi hotspot for my kids 3ds, iPads and kindles. Major 1% problems.....

eztider | 28. August 2016

CarPlay is number one on my list of things I'd like to see in my MS. If anyone is listening at Tesla, that would be a nice gift this Christmas!

gguinto | 28. August 2016

+1 on CarPlay

Made in CA | 28. August 2016

I would love to have CarPlay

patp | 28. August 2016

Our Volt 2017 has CarPlay and it's great. My brother also bought a Porsche and praises it. However, my father new Audi has it but it's a non touch screen CarPlay, so really bad experience.

Steve S | 28. August 2016

CarPlay, pretty please with sugar on top. A wifi hotspot would be delightful as well.

stevenmaifert | 28. August 2016

Potential reasons why CarPlay isn't offered:

1) There is an electronic/data incompatibility with the Media Center.
2) Developing the software for CarPlay to work with the Media Center isn't a priority.
3) Tesla is too (add your own word) to pay Apple the licensing fee. | 28. August 2016

(add your own word) -> Smart?

Not a fan of yet another UI interface (CarPlay or Android Auto) on top of a fairly good Tesla interface. I'd rather Tesla continue to improve the current design and not get trapped spending endless time implementing other vendors half baked designs. Currently CarPlay and Android auto are designed for small displays, and can make other car maker's very crappy UI actually look a bit better. Mirroring seems like a far better way to go.

carlk | 28. August 2016

Tesla uses its own software to do things that are much more complicated than what other cars do. It's probably harder for Tesla to integrate CarPlay than others. There could be political reasons too of course.

A lot of things like calling and calender are already connected in current system. The only major thing missing is probably music playing. For me I'm happy to use the Tesla media center to play my lossless music files. I have no desire to connect to my iPhone for music playing even if I could. I might have missed something so folks who say you want CarPlay could you also describe what you would like to do with it if you have one?

rxlawdude | 28. August 2016

I strongly disagree with any integration that is vendor-specific (e.g,, only Carplay, only Android Auto, only (whatever it is that Microsoft proposes). Either support all major variants of smartphone OSs, or continue to develop Tesla's own entertainment system that interfaces with any phone data via BT, but without merely mirroring screens.

carlk | 28. August 2016


+1. The more I think about it the more CarPlay integration makes no sense. The Tesla 's way of playing music with the large screen and steering wheel controls is the very best in the industry. So is the way to make calls with the steering wheel controls. I have no idea why anyone would want to go backward to do it the iPhone/iPod way.

ram1901 | 28. August 2016

It must be a generational thing.
another way to look at this is:
Look my sports car has to use Apple's phone interface to make my car cool....

Or the alternative: Look my Tesla has it's own phone, calendar and entertainment system plus a giant NAV screen and screen after screen of customer controlled feature settings.

Hummmmm? I kinda like the later. :)

AmpedRealtor | 28. August 2016

@ rmg007:

"Elon has said that Tesla is working on a mirroring solution."

We don't need Tesla's mirroring solution - it already exists and it's called Carplay. Why Tesla is resisting this is beyond me, but it's a completely boneheaded move on their part. Mirroring in iOS is called Airplay, and it does only that - mirrors what's on your display. You cannot interact with that content on an external touch screen. That's why you need Carplay.

We don't need some weird Tesla mirroring solution, we want Carplay. Suck it up, Elon.

carlk | 28. August 2016


I'm still waiting for you or anyone else to tell me what things that CarPlay does that you in particularly like. It may be easier to ask Tesla to add that feature instead of integrate the entire (actually inferior) CarPlay and screw up the whole thing.

rxlawdude | 28. August 2016

I'm amazed at the nastiness of the iPeople in demanding THEIR solution.

carlk | 28. August 2016

That is just a nasty person whenever there is something about Tesla. | 28. August 2016

While I'm not a fan of Carplay, it does offer messaging (read/write text messages verbally). It has a phone interface (looks quite inferior to Tesla), has mapping (very inferior to Tesla), Music - does allow playlists, and supports Podcasts and AudioBooks (some pluses and minuses). It only works for iPhone 5 and later (older Apple phones are out of luck). You can also add a select few apps written specifically for CarPlay (you can't use any of your normal phone apps). So I can see some value, just not enough to screw up the entire Tesla interface. | 28. August 2016

I'm sure some will love CarPlay, but here's what it would look like on the Tesla - many duplicate functions, huge buttons, lots of wasted space (since it's designed for small 7" displays in landscape orientation).

And here's what the map looks like:

Now it's possible if Tesla were allowed to modify CarPlay (unlikely), it could be made to work better on a large display and duplicate functions removed. I believe Android Auto suffers from similar issues. Perhaps in a few years these interfaces will be better designed for large displays and can be better integrated, but I'd hope Tesla's own interface will be much further along. There is a lot to be said to have full ownership of your UI and features.

I also wonder about the performance - bluetooth is not a fast connection, and updating details like a high-resolution map while audio is playing may force the map to stutter or worse, only appear in very low resolution.

I welcome any CarPlay/Android Auto developers to speak up that are more knowledgeable about the limitations and ability to work with large HD displays. Perhaps I'm wrong on some of the limitations I see. | 28. August 2016

Trying the map again:

AlMc | 28. August 2016

Only advantage I see is the text to voice/voice to text. It is in my daughter's car and is a nice feature. I am sure TM will eventually add such a feature and I am content to wait for it. Beyond that I agree with 'TT', TM has other functions that beat Carplay's.

eztider | 28. August 2016

What would I do with CarPlay? I have a two hour intercity drive I do often. Presently, if I'm listening to the music on my iPhone, I have to manipulate the phone if I want to switch to a podcast. Back to the phone again if I want to listen to an audiobook. It would be nice if I could do this on the MS touchscreen instead of having to look down at the phone, find the appropriate app, make a selection, press Play, etc. Autosteer is useful for this. But it would be better to be able to use the touchscreen in conjunction with the scroll wheel buttons. If Tesla would just implement better iPhone integration into the music app I'd be satisfied with that.

rxlawdude | 28. August 2016

@AIMc, this is one of the puzzlements about the current Tesla audio/phone system. My 2011 and 2014 Priuses translated both my Exchange emails and SMS messages to voice, all controlled from the screen.

Tesla's functionality with voice commands and phone integration is at the 2004 level. That's sad, but hopefully will be fixed "soon."

Silver2K | 28. August 2016

I think I would set my car on fire if my screen looked like the pictures TT posted...

twestberg | 28. August 2016

The list of reasons we likely don't have CarPlay (or Android Play equivalent) is likely large:
- Tesla has many higher priorities in its software group
- Tesla rather resents Apple (and possibly Google) poaching its employees (tech companies tend to believe they own their employees -- that includes Apple and Google)
- Tesla doesn't want to pay Apple's license fee when only x% of its drivers would care

I, for one, would appreciate the option, even if I had to pay for the "app" to be downloaded.

I don't think the UI differences would be quite as jarring as the mockups above; CarPlay's aspect ratio fits well as one of the two screen apps (top or bottom). The duplication is only there if you choose it. (Does Apple disallow competitive features? I doubt they could get away with that.) In any event, that duplication (maps) is there for Audi and Chevrolet. Somehow their owners tolerate it.

As an iPhone owner who would like this, I'm puzzled at the notion that I'm demanding MY solution. The reality of Apple's ecosystem is that they make it their way or none. I don't think Tesla could do a screen sharing app within the constraints of iOS. They might do it with Android, and it might even be worth the effort.

eye.surgeon | 28. August 2016

Elon is working on a mirroring solution? You mean like apple carplay? Which is already developed?

Silver2K | 28. August 2016

he has developers in-house, why spend for licensing when you are already paying people?

NKYTA | 28. August 2016

I'm in the iOS sandbox for home use. That said, a fully integrated solution in my MS would likely, eventually, soon, be better.

I may switch to Android or some future solution, in the future. Let's not willy-nilly lockstep TM to Apple.

eye.surgeon | 28. August 2016

What lockstep? Offer apple carplay and android auto and you've covered 90% of owners. This isn't new technology, my kids economy car has this feature. Lots of cars have it. Tesla is behind in this regard. | 28. August 2016

Speculation as to why tesla does or does not have modern phone integration is silly.

I'm guessing somewhere close to 100% of tesla owners have smartphones. CarPlay and Android Auto just make sense. If Tesla wants to roll its own AppStore, thats great, please do that too, but why not give your customers the option of using the system they prefer?

For people who think a display looks ugly, you are more than entitled to your opinion. It's a feature, just like foldable mirrors, creep and summon. If you don't want it, you don't have to use it.

IMO, the music system has much room for improvement. Do you ever have slacker do its studdering thing? Ever listen to a podcast via Bluetooth and get some completely unrelated album art? Ever wait 2 minutes for your usb stick to be re-indexed for the thousandth time and it still can't get the artwork from the drive instead it goes to the Internet for some reason?

NKYTA | 28. August 2016

@eye.surgeon, what are you willing to pay for this feature that not all want?

There is software licensing involved, yes?

I certainly don't want to pay twice for something the car already offers.

BTW, the Tesla Nav seems to be doing better than Waze on the 101 of late. I rarely check my iPhone on the commute. | 28. August 2016

It is not made public if Apple charges each vendor a licensing fee for CarPlay. It's being used by 35+ manufacturers and each one has to apply for MFi certification. It's in Apples best interest to make the technology easy and cheap for manufacturers...they make money off iPhones (of which they've literally sold a billion), not software licenses with car companies.

warwickwebb | 28. August 2016

Nobody has mentioned Siri hands-free. This enables you to talk to Siri directly vs using the car's built-in voice commands. There is no UI component here. Why doesn't Tesla at least support this?

warwickwebb | 28. August 2016

Nobody has mentioned Siri hands-free. This enables you to talk to Siri directly vs using the car's built-in voice commands. There is no UI component here. Why doesn't Tesla at least support this?

Realure | 28. August 2016

Maybe v8 will have the screen mirroring.

eye.surgeon | 28. August 2016

@NKYTA, the cost to the owner of licencing apple carplay is so trivial compared to the cost of the car that it's not even worth discussing. Pretty sure that if my daughters honda civic can make it work in the budget, a hundred thousand dollar car can also.

martin | 29. August 2016

The car doesn't stop you from using Siri directly. I do it all the time when making calls. The only prerequisite is to connect the iPhone to external power and Enable Siri.
The "Hey Siri" command is picked up directly by the iPhone mike and the rest is handled through the car's hands free.

ShockOnT | 29. August 2016

CarPlay usually replaces a car's whole media interface.
This matters on a Tesla because it uses its interface for vehicle control, not just media.
Doesn't matter on a car with buttons and dials for the heater and sunroof, but for Tesla the CarPlay system would never work unless it is its own screen.
I think the best solution is what is actually happening, ie. Tesla is working on improving its own system.

Fins | 29. August 2016

Tesla needs to support all smart phone integration systems... It doesn't matter if you personally like or dislike how it works options are always a good thing.

Imagine an iPhone or Android phone without the ability to use Microsoft office.. Or an iPhone or windows phone without the option to use google.

Options options options anyone who is against options is a closed minded individual. | 29. August 2016

Carplay takes over the "screen" for the infotainment system. There is more than enough real estate to support carply in 1/2 the screen.

Another point to consider is the data. I'm sure Tesla is paying something to slacker and at&t today for all of our music. If they put CarPlay & Android Auto in place, more customers may use their own data plans off their phones.

bp | 29. August 2016

Tesla should add screen mirroring or risk having the lack of this feature become a factor in sales (especially for the Model 3).

If they use Apple CarPlay, then they also need to have Android Auto. An advantage of using Apple and Google interfaces is that the responsibility for maintaining compatibility with new operating system releases and devices would fall on Apple and Google - not Tesla.

Tesla could implement their own screen mirroring solution. But, if that requires more long-term resources than using the Apple and Google software, we risk getting back into the same situation we are in today with the media player and navigation apps, that have been fairly stagnant since the first Model S cars were produced over 4 years ago.

carlk | 29. August 2016


You hit it right on the head. The integration, if not done right, or even done right, could result in a much worse system than we are having today. Does anyone really think it's that simple to split screen and multi-tasking CarPlay and Tesla's control functions? Yeah right why don't you ask Apple to make Android available in a split screen on the iPhone too.

NKYTA | 29. August 2016


"If they use Apple CarPlay, then they also need to have Android Auto. An advantage of using Apple and Google interfaces is that the responsibility for maintaining compatibility with new operating system releases and devices would fall on Apple and Google - not Tesla."

Yeah. So now Tesla software engineers have to support two different apps? And have to QC both, based on whatever version of Linux they are running? Which they might want to change in the future, for various reasons? I'm just not sold that this forwards the Secret Master Plan. But I could be wrong.

@eye.surgeon, what happens when the next -new, shiny- thing comes out for whatever phone you have? Then everyone will be saying "why doesn't my MS integrate with this new shiny thing from company X"?

As far as cost to the consumer, sure it is probably trivial. Cost to TM an their mission, maybe not so much.

I'm not totally against such integrations, but I expect it is being discussed at Sand Hill rd. And they probably have a PowerPoint or three on the pros and cons.

cpmarino | 29. August 2016

CarPlay doesn't take over anything. On all systems that I'm aware of, it's a selection and when you select it, you get the CarPlay screen and the corresponding integration to your phone. If you want to use the built in Nav (i.e. Ferrari), you can. If you want to use the CarPlay nav, you can. Same with music and everything else ... CarPlay is an App and if you don't select it, everything works like normal. If you do select it, you get that suite of functionality. Therefore, everyone can be happy. No comment on how it operates and whether it's better, but for those folks who use their iPhones for music, email, calendar, etc., it does simplify things.

rob | 29. August 2016

Great feedback!

Here are my thoughts and reasons for wanting CarPlay:

1. Would like to browse playlists. My 4 previous vehicles going back to 2007 were BMWs. All of them had this feature.
2. Would like to access podcasts directly through the UI instead of the phone.
3. Would like Siri integration. I understand Siri is not perfect, but actually does work well in the vehicle. This is how I access my playlists, podcasts in the tesla.
4. Would like to read, compose and send SMS messages.
5. Would like to read, compose and send emails.
6. There are more apps available. It looks like Tesla was originally going to offer more apps and an SDK. However, I think they realized the security risks associated with that. I believe the CarPlay integration is more secure.
7. There is already a massive developer ecosystem on Apple. If you were a developer, would you develop to a proprietary SDK for 1 manufacturer that makes 50,000 vehicles per year and no existing app store infrastructure or would you choose to develop in the Apple infrastructure that 1) allows you to get paid via an app store, 2) will work with 43 other manufacturers that produce millions of vehicles per year, 3) has a huge existing user base?
8. Technology – upgrading your phone is a lot easier than upgrading the hardware in your vehicle. Each year processing speeds increase, new apps become available, etc. This was one of my frustrations with BMW. Example: I took delivery of my 2013 650Xi in February 2013. In October 2013 I purchased a BMW 328d. The 328s iPhone integration was significantly better. The integration in my 650 remained the same – no update. Tesla does a much better job of keeping the car updated. However, this is limited to software. Processing hardware, etc. is a different story.
9. Having the integration means you will have a choice. If the integration is not done well, you don’t have to use it.

I’m not excluding Android Auto. I think all of these arguments apply to Android Auto as well. I think the reason we see 43 manufacturers on board with these integrations is because it is not that difficult. I think they also realize they could save money, increase security and focus their resources on other areas of vehicle design, manufacture and sales.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my Model S. I’ve pre-ordered the Model 3 as well. I believe in the company and where it is going just like many of you. I’m just trying to get a better understanding of what others think.

Thank you for all of the feedback! | 29. August 2016

Another possible issue is liability. I doubt Apple or Google will take any responsibility, should an app do something inappropriate like flash a bright red full-screen at 10 Hz, display porn to kids, or put up ads. Hopefully Apple and Google are vetting apps, but I can see stuff getting through. If the bad app contributes to a vehicle crash is Tesla liable?

Also after ceding control to Apple/Google some future versions may include ads on purpose (i.e. to make more money for Apple and Google). I think Tesla is smart in taking this slow and I'd rather they keep improving the current design. Most the features suggested could be baked into Tesla's own design.

All that said, the competitive pressure may be too much, and Tesla may have to bow to the lowest common denominator and offer CarPlay to be just like every other car maker that has given up.

Fins | 30. August 2016

TT do you think this comment makes people think your smart and drive people to your website? It doesn't your comments are baseless.

bp | 30. August 2016

While it's true all of this is "only software", and it is certainly possible for Tesla to make the investment to implement their own mirroring solutions - or improved smartphone integration - from a business standpoint - is that going to increase Tesla sales (especially when other manufacturers are offering the Apple & Google integration)?

If it's not going to increase Tesla sales, then Tesla may be better off biting the bullet - adding CarPlay and Android Auto - and provide what will be available in most of the other cars... And then focus their software development investment in functionality that provides significant value for Tesla owners - such as greatly improved navigation software that will eventually integrate with AP. | 30. August 2016

@Fins - Actually my opinions here sometimes drives people away from my website. I'm sure I'd be better off just agreeing with everyone and ignoring common sense. Then again I don't discriminate on desired features at our website and have CarPlay as a desired feature users can vote on (currently 81 votes).