Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

Tesla UI vs Apple CarPlay vs Android Auto

Hello! Recently in the Model X Waiting Room many users began to express some strong opinions one way or another on their preference of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. I wanted to start a new thread focused on this topic.

My opinion, there are certainly some apps that have advantages over Tesla's UI but ultimately Tesla's UI performs these functions or does them better. For the one-off use cases such as an app like SoundCloud, Zoom, AppleMusic, etc you can always connect your phone via Bluetooth and do not necessarily need or benefit from a native app in the car.

What are your thoughts?
 
D

DM206433

Guest
The biggest benefit is choice.

Want to use a different navigation application (ABRP or full-fat Google Maps)? Want to use Apple Music or YT Music and be able to play saved offline music as well as browse playlists, etc? You'll need CarPlay or Android Auto for that.

I'm pretty happy with Tesla's offering and I can certainly live with it, but CarPlay offered me far more choice and I wish the car had it.
 
I'm reasonably happy with Tesla's built in stuff, but don't like being completely at their mercy on when/how to update or add features. They decide they're mad at Spotify? Poof its gone with no recourse and you're forced to bundle an unwelcome change like the hypothetical spotify loss with something you really want (say FSD actual release).

So I'll mirror that, the ability to choose and not be held hostage is good, even though Apple holds us hostage like this as well there's at least another dimension you can control things on.

I really like/use waze on road trips and Tesla doesn't and probably won't ever support it, and coming up with their own version would be pretty pointless.

tldr summary:

1) choice to change/update features out of lockstep
2) choice to have features tesla will never support (primarily for political reasons, but also technical) ; ex: waze
3) performance of the MCU is pretty crap for browsing, a modern iphone is much much more responsive
4) with carplay you wouldn't need a redundant mobile data subscription just for your car
 
The biggest benefit is choice.

Want to use a different navigation application (ABRP or full-fat Google Maps)? Want to use Apple Music or YT Music and be able to play saved offline music as well as browse playlists, etc? You'll need CarPlay or Android Auto for that.

I'm pretty happy with Tesla's offering and I can certainly live with it, but CarPlay offered me far more choice and I wish the car had it.
Choice is available.. Toyota or Honda are options 😅

From Tesla's perspective though Apple Music or YT Music can be used on Bluetooth. Offline music can be added to the USB drive and played off of the car's built in media player.
 
D

DM206433

Guest
Choice is available.. Toyota or Honda are options 😅

From Tesla's perspective though Apple Music or YT Music can be used on Bluetooth. Offline music can be added to the USB drive and played off of the car's built in media player.

And when Toyota or Honda make an electric car as good as the Tesla is an overall package, then I'll consider one :p until then I'll put up with 'Tesla's way or the highway'. Yes I can use those music services via Bluetooth but this is 2022, not 2002.
 
Choice is available.. Toyota or Honda are options 😅

From Tesla's perspective though Apple Music or YT Music can be used on Bluetooth. Offline music can be added to the USB drive and played off of the car's built in media player.

That's a good example, bluetooth works so we have options for audio. I just want the same freedom for video/interaction. Look at it the other way, would you be happy if tesla decided bluetooth was too expensive and made us only use the streaming audio they supported in car? Many of the arguments I've heard against supporting airplay could would also justify removing bluetooth in principle.

I'm happy there is physically an awesome spot with power for the phone to sit, most legacy automakers even make that hard/shitty.
 
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are really nothing more than glorified screen mirroring to the display in your car. What we like are the applications available to us via this interface to our phone.

What if, in an upcoming software release, Tesla were to launch an app store? A way for Waze, Google, Audible, Amazon, etc... to develop applications that run natively within the Tesla UI. Would you still want Tesla to implement CarPlay or Android Auto then?

However, I think Tesla has the opportunity to offer something even better...

The most common reason people complain about the lack of AA/CarPlay is Waze or Google Maps. But think about it. Tesla effectively has several million "Google Maps cars" out on the roads -- every day -- with built-in cameras, GPS, real-time connections, and AI software recognition.

What Tesla needs to do is build a back-end system to harness all the data the cars can collect and turn it into a navigation system that no other company could match. Obviously a Tesla can report back real-time traffic conditions. But a Tesla could also see a hazardous road condition (stalled car, accident, lane closure) and report it automatically, even if the driver doesn't notice it. We know the cars are actively looking for flashing red and blue lights now, why not let everybody headed that way know about them...for safety;). A Tesla could report weather conditions (rain, snow, fog, slippery roads). A Tesla can report back new roads that are not in the navigation database. There are so many possibilities.

I think it's better to keep pressure on Tesla to add features to their UI, and Android Auto/CarPlay is not a feature. They are a band-aid over other manufactures' mediocre, stagnant, infotainment and navigation systems.
 
I learnt from another thread that you could buy TeslAA app from Google Play store and put Android Auto on your browser. You have to use your android phone's hotspot for the car though. It works well for me except for some hiccups Sometime the WAZE map will stop updating and have to refresh the browser. I can't "like/unlike" a song on Spotify. Sometime the door won't autolock after the drive (it gave the message autolock disabled). A few other minor things so ultimately I decided to not use it.

I wouldn't mind using it though if it were integrated and executed perfectly.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: sebxx and impastu
Google has far more data on traffic and the movement of people in cars than Tesla ever will. It can devote more time and money into making better maps, improving app integration and the overall user experience than Tesla ever could. I'm convinced that the people who dismiss android auto or car play have not spent any time using them. As someone who likes google maps and uses an audio app other than Spotify (and I've heard many folks complain about Tesla's Spotify app), I find it incredibly disappointing that the car company that touts itself as being the technological leader in autos tells users to "just use the Bluetooth". The Bluetooth functions barely better than a $20 speaker. It does not allow me to select which podcast or audiobook id like to listen to, it doesn't tell me how much time is left in a chapter or podcast. I can't even see where traffic is on the roads (unless I pay $10/month). Instead, I have to use my phone. What's the point of having a massive monitor if I have to look down at a tiny phone screen? Android Auto can accomplish all of this, and did it YEARS ago. If Tesla wants to remain at the top, it must continue to get better. Having car lights flash in sync with music or making seats fart does nothing for the daily commute. It's good for a laugh once or twice, and then I'm back to using the crappy featureless Bluetooth experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roc-noc and sebxx
One thing I haven't seen people discussed is the notification capabilities of Android Auto and CarPlay. It goes beyond text messages. You can get messages from other apps such as WhatsApp and FB Messenger. Also, Google Assistant in Abdroid Auto is an incredibly powerful tool. For one, you can use it to send messages with natural language, as it understands when and where to put punctuations. Also, like other said, Google Maps and Apple Maps are just much better than what is currently in Tesla, especially in a car where Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can project information into three HUD. I use CarPlay (and Android Auto previously) in my wife's BMW all the time, and that's one thing I truly miss whenever I drive my Model 3.
 
CarPlay would be so easy to implement too, I miss app choices.. but most of all I miss the more helpful driving tools

Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze.. these all allow reporting of conditions and, for the love of driving a Tesla, a checkbox to avoid highways or drive the scenic route!

So unless it happens, my iPhone directs my navigation on longer trips when I’d like to avoid highways and such.. and the Tesla becomes a kind of a suggestion route planner
 
  • Like
Reactions: roc-noc and impastu
Some of reasoning I believe is that several car functions depend on you using the built in maps.

You want to pre-condition the battery for Supercharging? Use the use the built in nav.
Want to use FSD (public or beta)? Need to use the built in nav.
Want to have the route automatically build in and adjust charging stops based on Realtime power usage? Use the built in nav.

Anecdotally, I'll use ABRP to pre-plan trips on my computer, but for the actual trip, I'll use the built in Nav. After comparing ABRP several times to the built in nav while on a trip, I've found that for me anyway, that the built in nav is more accurate on range estimates and estimated arrival SoC.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: Ted H and impastu
I have been with out CarPlay since I sold my Ford Edge back in late October 2021. Love my new Model S refresh but really missing the CarPlay iPhone integration. With CarPlay I was able to easily use Siri to originate texts, read texts to me, reply to texts... all without looking at a screen or touching a screen.

I found with Tesla I can dictate and send a text but cannot read or reply without taking my eyes off the road and reading the text on the display.

While the Telsa text app was welcome, it feels like it was written by an entry level programmer. Nowhere near the polish of Apple code. Nowhere near as functional.

Elon's refusal to add CarPlay and Android Auto is losing Tesla sales. I ordered a Ford F150 Lightning over a Cybertruck. My wife will be replacing her BMW with a new BMW or MB next year.

Wake up Tesla. The competition is coming and offering features that Tesla is missing.
 
With CarPlay I was able to easily use Siri to originate texts, read texts to me, reply to texts... all without looking at a screen or touching a screen.

This capability can be independent from CarPlay, our old 2011 Explorer had it, and I wish Tesla would implement it.

Ford called it "Siri Eyes Free." A quick press of the voice command button on the steering wheel invoked the in-car voice command system, but a longer press of the voice command button would invoke Siri on the phone by way of the bluetooth connection.
 
With CarPlay I was able to easily use Siri to originate texts, read texts to me, reply to texts... all without looking at a screen or touching a screen.
This capability can be independent from CarPlay, our old 2011 Explorer had it, and I wish Tesla would implement it.

Ford called it "Siri Eyes Free." A quick press of the voice command button on the steering wheel invoked the in-car voice command system, but a longer press of the voice command button would invoke Siri on the phone by way of the bluetooth connection.
Are you driving an older model or stuck on an old firmware version??

My 2017 X can read texts, you can respond to texts via speech, navigate through contacts to text with the right scroll wheel, etc. You just have to sync your phone with Bluetooth and in options permit the car to manage your texting app.
 
Carplay and Android auto would be amazing. Currently I have to use my phone to use Waze and I can't access YouTube music (through Bluetooth but can't access play lists etc.) It's an absolute pain. I can live with the Tesla software but its not even close to android auto and apple carplay in features and flexibility. Because of this, my Honda Clarity had better features with its tiny 8 inch screen than Tesla maps and music.
 
  • Like
Reactions: roc-noc and DBV1
Are you driving an older model or stuck on an old firmware version??

My 2017 X can read texts, you can respond to texts via speech, navigate through contacts to text with the right scroll wheel, etc. You just have to sync your phone with Bluetooth and in options permit the car to manage your texting app.
Just lamenting Tesla's current texting implementation. Thru CarPlay (or Siri Hands Free) it's a conversational approach to texting.

{press steering wheel button} "Read me my new text messages"

You have two new messages, first message from 8-6-6-5-5-5-1-2-1-2, "I'm trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty". Do you want to reply? {listening}

"No"

Second message from Wife, "I'm at the store, do you need me to get anything?". Do you want to reply? {listening}

"Yes"

What do you want to say? {listening}

"Forecast is for snow, buy milk and bread" {pause}

Ready to send? {listening}

"Yes"

Sent. No more messages.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top