If you’re liquid enough (read: filthy rich) to own a Tesla automobile, you will have noticed that ginormous 17-inch center console that the Tesla Model S and Model X has. If you’ve ever wondered when Tesla might grow some apps for that screen, well, here’s some good news for all of you.
But first, let’s talk about why it took a while for this to progress. Developers have been waiting for a full SDK to start developing apps for the console screen. But Tesla has been worrying about the security of its cars. A Tesla Model S has been “hacked” before, although it required physical presence within the car. The hackers ripped off the console, connected a laptop and gave a command that allowed them to start the car. The fear is that with an SDK and app development, remote access might become possible.
So CEO Elon Musk said that they have taken some time to think this issue through, and said that the company might be moving away from the SDK and app development, and toward app mirroring. “As we have sort of thought about it more, the logical thing to do from an app standpoint is to maybe allow apps on your iPhone or Android to project onto the center display, as opposed to trying to create a new app ecosystem,” Musk said at an event for Tesla owners in Hong Kong this week.
App mirroring and projecting apps work more like the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which project data from your phone to the car console. This is the “safer” option for most automobile manufacturers, and they have jumped in on that bandwagon, rather than a full ecosystem which may or may not be accessible over connections remotely.