Tesla doesn’t offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support in its cars, but coders have created workarounds. Tesla’s Android project runs in the car’s browser and offers many interesting features. Recently, the developer added multi-touch support, opening up a new world of possibilities, including playing games from the Android Play Store.
Thanks to their simple and powerful nature, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have become the de facto user interface in modern vehicles. No matter how bad a car’s infotainment system or navigation is, you can always count on Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to provide a familiar interface and access to all your apps and features. Unfortunately, not all car models offer this type of cell phone integration, and Teslas are one of them. Thanks to the good people behind the Tesla Android project, this problem has been solved and you can run Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in a Tesla. Type of.
Tesla Android started out as a homebrew project, so in its early stages it was more of a geek’s delight than a consumer-friendly solution. It hardly required two Raspberry Pi boards and a lot of fiddling to get things working. Fortunately, Michal Gapinski, the developer behind the project, has progressed to the point recently that you can now make it work on almost any Tesla vehicle with an MCU2 or newer.
Installation has become easier, but a Raspberry Pi 4 board is still required. The Raspberry Pi would broadcast its own Wi-Fi signal, which you need to connect your Tesla to in order for everything to work. To run Apple CarPlay you will also need a CarlinKit dongle and an LTE router for the Raspberry Pi. The board can still be used offline, but in this case your Tesla would no longer have an internet connection as it expects the Raspberry Pi to use Wi -Fi network replaces connectivity provided by Tesla.
The project recently reached an important milestone with the move to Android 13 and the addition of a new audio engine and hardware display encoder. It also supports USB tethering for Android devices, bringing it closer to feature completeness. Among other things, the changes allow Tesla Android to display DRM content and play lossless audio. On April 3, Gapinski announced that Tesla Android also got multi-touch support, a big improvement over previous versions.
10-point multi-touch support enables near-native interaction with apps for pinch-zoom and other functions. Users can zoom in, out, and pan the map for the first time in the navigation app. Another good use for the multi-touch feature is playing multi-touch games from the Android Play Store. The Tesla Android project cannot yet use the car’s GPS directly and relies on additional hardware. The developer wants future iterations to be better integrated with the vehicle to allow location access across all apps on the Play Store.
Fruit Ninja and tons of other Android games are coming to your Tesla ???????????? https://t.co/mHrwa9g5eO pic.twitter.com/OsKwihoO6Y
— Tesla Android Project (@TeslaAndroid) April 3, 2023