What type of device is the 17" touchscreen: Computer, Tablet or Smartphone

What type of device is the 17" touchscreen: Computer, Tablet or Smartphone

How is the Model S browswer recognized by websites --- as a computer, smartphone or tablet? My understanding is that this is important for what content certain websites make available to you and how that information will display. Of immediate concern to me is the New York Times, which has different subscription service for different devices. Currently, I subscribe to the + tablet option, meaning I can access the website and read the paper on my IPad. I cannot, however, read the paper on my Galaxy Nexus phone without an upgrade. I think MLB has a similar structure, and I assume that many other websites have split pricing plans. What category of device does the 17" touchscreen fall into? Is there any ability to change the signal that the browser sends to websites (i.e., I am a computer or I am a browser)?

Schlermie | 6 oktober 2012

If the Model S really does eventually start using the Chrome browser (as has been rumored), then Chrome has a feature make make itself appear as a desktop device even if it's running on a mobile device.

I don't have a direct answer to your question though.

nickjhowe | 6 oktober 2012

If someone with a car can point their in-car browser at we'll know the answer!

bfranks273 | 6 oktober 2012


Mozilla/5.0 (X11; u; Linux; C) AppleWebKit /533.3 (Khtml, like Gheko) QtCarBrowser Safari /533.3

SO, ok, what does that mean? Its a computer running Linux and a special Apple Car Browser, I guess?

bfranks273 | 6 oktober 2012

like Gecko

archibaldcrane | 6 oktober 2012

All I know is, if I can get on my car screen I'm going to be a very happy man.

Wait, would I need the tech package for that or not?

NJS1207 | 7 oktober 2012

@bfranks273: Thanks for the info. Hopefully someone can decipher it for us.

@archibaldcrane: Agreed that would be awesome! I would settle for the MLB broadcast through XM + Gamecast, though. It does not look like anything in the tech package would impact the features on the touchscreen. Unless I am reading it wrong, the options page indicates that mobile connectivity is available to everyone.

brdunton | 7 oktober 2012

I noticed while looking for how to connect to wifi that the browser is not HTML5 compliant. It could not play the Nest about video. Displayed a message that flash or an HTML5 compliant browser was required. So Im guessing they are not using webkit, and moving to Chrome would be an entire replacement.

jerry3 | 7 oktober 2012

Or they disabled it to meet the requirement in some jurisdictions that video can't be shown where the driver might see it.

nickjhowe | 7 oktober 2012

@bfranks273 - assuming the UAS is telling the real story (i.e., no spoofing going on) the UAS tells us it is a WebKit-based browser running on Linux that looks pretty much like Safari.

It uses the 533.3 version of WebKit from CVS and is compatible with sites that support Mozilla/5.0 (i.e., the Gecko 1.0 engine spec)

Biggest takeaway - it is pretty close to Safari (if you go to it thinks it is Safari)

NJS1207 | 7 oktober 2012

@nickjhowe- thanks for the explanation. As a practical matter, does that mean websites such as NYT or MLB will treat the touchscreen as a computer running Safari as opposed to a smartphone or tablet? Or is it impossible to generalize?

mrspaghetti | 8 oktober 2012


It entirely depends on each individual website, but I'd guess it will not be treated as a tablet or phone since there is nothing in that user agent string flagging it as either of those.

But there is hope. There is a chance you can change how the browser identifies itself to websites, though I can't tell you exactly how off the top of my head. I know I've done it in the past while running another Mozilla-based browser. Google it.

nickjhowe | 13 oktober 2012

@njs1207 - I agree with mrspaghet - Any site should treat the Model S as a 'full' computer safari browser.

By contrast, both the iPad and iPhone identify themselves as 'mobile' devices with nearly identical UAS. Websites will default to rendering a full page unless the site finds the mobile tag AND chooses to use it. That's why most pages render as 'full' site pages on the iPad, but a handful of sites will instead display the mobile version (in that case it found and acted on the 'mobile' part of the string and ignored the fact it is an iPad.

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A405 Safari/8536.25

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A403 Safari/8536.25

NJS1207 | 13 oktober 2012

@nickjhowe and @tesla.mrspaghet: thanks again for your help!

chup | 15 oktober 2012

They should make certain applications of the touch screen, like web browser, radio, climate control multi-touch capable. We've seen it possible to enlarge or shrink the map on the GPS application. This could be extended to other applications. For example, volume control, when in radio mode, should have the volume increase or decrease be a two fingered affair, such that swiping up will increase the volume and swiping down would decrease it. Swiping left and right would either change tracks of the music you're listening to or change pre-set stations.

Paul5 | 17 oktober 2012

What is the underlying operating system of the Panel (Android, custom)? Can it support apps?

Does the chrome browser on this device support FLASH? Some sites I go to need flash and Apple iOS devices dont support flash and the newer Android ones dont either.

BYT | 17 oktober 2012

I think you will find at this time the browser is very simple and will not support HTML5, Flash or other media plugins for a few.

nickjhowe | 17 oktober 2012

@Paul5 - Linux - and therefore yes it can support apps.

The browser isn't Chrome - or doesn't appear to be from the UAS. Rather than speculate, we need someone with the car to do some tests for javascript, java, flash, silverlight, etc. etc. I suspect that anything that needs to download a plugin (flash, etc) will not run at this time - but that is pure speculation.

mrspaghetti | 17 oktober 2012

And even if true that plugins are not compatible now, it's likely they will be in the future. At least, I hope so.

Ideally, I would have wished for the Model S platform to be compatible with Android so you could use all those awesome apps that are already out there. If they went with a proprietary design that can't eventually do that, I'd consider it a design flaw.

But I'll still buy the car and enjoy the hell out of it.

Salvat0r | 12 mei 2013

I just found that correctly detects my Model S. Freakin awesome!

Will the Teslas ever run Chrome or anything like that?

Vawlkus | 13 mei 2013

If it can be made to run under Linux it's possible. Not before the onboard HD support gets unlocked though.

Malonicus | 7 juli 2013

I was told that it is illegal to have video displays in the front seat, therefore the browser will not play video content regardless of its user agent string.

AmpedRealtor | 7 juli 2013

Just wait until tesla ships a lot more of these cars… it's a hacker's wet dream.

wcalvin | 7 juli 2013

What we need is an app for the 17" that remotely operates the smartphone, displaying its screen at 2-3X. I would certainly buy an iPhone version, even at $100.

zoonman | 24 oktober 2013

It seems they are using Linux operation system and Qt port of WebKit web browser engine. This engine is used for Google Chrome and Apple's Safari web browsers.
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