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Although Apple’s CarPlay integration has been rolled out to just about every automotive manufacturer out there, Tesla continues to eschew this kind of direct smartphone integration, but the good news is that at least those Tesla owners who are Apple Music fans may soon have an easier way to listen to their tunes on the road.
Tesla arguably stands in a class by itself among vehicles, and its on-board infotainment system is certainly one of the most sophisticated, considering that it also has to support some of the most advanced self-driving features on the market today. However, it’s also pretty much alone among luxury carmakers in omitting CarPlay support, preferring instead to chart its own course, and — much like Apple — try and control all the pieces of its user experience.
That hasn’t stopped the company from integrating some of these services directly, of course, but it’s also clearly determined to do so on its own terms. Last year it famously added Spotify, and recently Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned that Tidal would be coming very soon, however it now looks like this might also be joined by Apple Music, among others.
The Twitter post notes that Tesla has actually been working on Apple Music integration “for quite some time,” although suggests that Tidal is still going to come first, as its already starting to show a more complete user interface, while the Apple Music entry remains mostly a “stub.”
The latest software update also notably includes Amazon Music, Audible (which is owned by Amazon), Pandora, and TuneIn radio, and with these additional sources appearing, users can also now choose to hide the ones that they’re not using to reduce the clutter in the main user interface.
Taking Apple Music on the Road
While such a move would certainly require Tesla to work with Apple to a greater degree that simply enabling CarPlay, Tesla isn’t actually the first to come to the table; last year, Porsche announced a landmark partnership with Apple that brought Apple Music to the Taycan — an arrangement that has continued to bear even more fruit this year with Apple Podcasts and Apple Music lyrics coming on board.
Unlike Tesla, however, Porsche has enthusiastically embraced Apple CarPlay in what is actually a rare exclusive arrangement — it’s one of the few carmakers to omit Android Auto support entirely, so if you’re buying a Porsche, you’d better be an iPhone user. Porsche North America CEO Klaus Zellmer has described his company as having a very close relationship due to their shared ideologies on design, technology, and innovation.
By contrast, it’s unclear exactly how deep the relationship between Tesla and Apple will go when it comes to adding Apple Music, but it sounds like in Tesla’s case, it’s going to simply be another voice in the chorus, as opposed to the flagship service that Porsche is offering it as.
Still, the move would be a huge boon to Tesla drivers, since without CarPlay support, it’s really the only way to directly access the full Apple Music user interface; Tesla owners can still stream Apple Music from their iPhone over a Bluetooth connection of course, but that’s not nearly as convenient as being able to call up albums, artists, and playlists directly from the dashboard.