A developer has managed to get Android Auto running in Tesla vehicles using a web browser and an app on Google Play.
One of the most requested features from Tesla owners is enabling phone mirroring apps like Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
At one point, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla was working on phone projection apps, but as it sometimes does, that didn’t happen. Instead, the automaker is investing in a closed system in which it controls the entire user interface and experience.
Developer AAWireless teased a workaround with Tesla’s web browser and just released it: TeslAA – Android Auto over Tesla Browser. 9to5Google detailed the early release of the product in June
Tesla owners can easily download and use the app, which costs $ 6.50. Users connect their phone to their car via Bluetooth, connect the Tesla WiFi to the phone’s hotspot, and then go to androidwheels.com in their web browser in the car.
This Android Auto implementation enables users to display apps such as Google Maps or Waze directly on the center display of their Tesla.
The app is still in beta, but it seems to be working pretty well:
The developer has already warned of some known problems.
- The video can no longer respond when / after switching to reverse. Refreshing the page will fix this.
- The app uses native FFMPEG binaries on the phone side which can sometimes die in the background. This won’t happen while driving, more likely during setup or if you close and then switch back to Tesla’s browser many times. Unfortunately, the TeslaA service has to be stopped and restarted for this.
- The performance depends on the phone and also on the Tesla browser. Underperforming smartphones may not be able to stream properly in 720p.
- Wireless charging when using AA can cause the phone to overheat (this happens on my OnePlus 8 Pro), I can avoid this by using a wired charger (a bit of a shame, but again this is phone dependent).
- If the cell phone signal goes down for an extended period of time, Telsa may decide to disconnect from the WiFi and you will not be able to reconnect until you are back in an area with cellular coverage.
It looks like it’s working pretty well, but I’ll try myself to make sure and get back to me.
I’m actually a fan of Tesla’s user interface and have never been one of those Tesla owners who called for Android Auto / Apple Carplay integration, but I’ll admit that the navigation system has limitations, which only gave me some problems last weekend.
I am ready to try.
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