AirPlay support could be coming to your Tesla — here's what we know

Tesla Model 3 vs Tesla Model Y: interior
(Image credit: Tesla)

Dreams of casting your iPhone screen to Tesla Entertainment Screens may soon come true after AirPlay code was discovered in the updated Tesla iOS app.

The code was uncovered by Tesla App Updates (iOS) on Twitter (@Tesla_App_iOS), who found an "allowsAirPlayForMediaPlayback" string after decompiling the newest version of the iOS Tesla app.

With AirPlay, users can stream audio, video, photos, and other content wirelessly from Apple devices to a device with, or connected to, a larger screen. The addition of AirPlay to Teslas would be an improvement on the current system where users use Bluetooth to play their own music when driving.

In the past, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, hasn't ruled out the ability to cast entertainment to the onboard Entertainment Screen in Tesla vehicles. But he still maintains that the current system used in the EVs sounds "incredible," even without the lossless streaming that AirPlay would enable.

AirPlay vs CarPlay

tesla model x plaid: other features

(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla passengers can already launch entertainment apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, and even play games while the EV is parked. However, the adoption of AirPlay would be a big step in improving the lives of iPhone users, while maintaining control of the overall user experience for passengers.

On top of streaming media, AirPlay would give users the ability to view photos, mirror iPhone, iPad or Mac screens, and take advantage of lossless streaming thanks to direct WiFi streaming.

This however would not be the same as adding CarPlay to Tesla, another much-requested feature that would allow integration of more iPhone apps and navigation with the electric cars.

During WWDC last year, Apple revealed that 98% of cars within the U.S. had CarPlay integrated into them, and that 79% of consumers would not buy a car if it did not have CarPlay integrated into it. Maybe Tesla needs to consider listening to the apparent will of the car-buying public and work on CarPlay support next.

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Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
Phones Writer

Elliot MulleyGoodbarne is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering news, reviews, buying guides with wit and charm. He has had a keen interest in mobile, tablets, laptops, and everything in between since his first phone, the Samsung U600. Starting at Mobile News, Elliot has been writing about mobile and the business of technology since 2016, and has edited four trade magazines in that time, attending award shows for three of them. He has attended a range of industry events including 5G launches, device announcements, and trade events, where he developed a nose for picking up on trends, interviewing executives, and networking with the tech community. In his spare time, Elliot can usually be found watching, playing, or attending sporting events. With season tickets to West Ham United and Surrey County Cricket Club he often spends weekends in winter in a foul mood and evenings in the summer with a smile on his face. Outside of sport Elliot enjoys cooking, pubs next to rivers, and chilling out with a G&T, Whiskey, or Port after a solid week of excellence.