Tips, Tricks & Trends

Does the Tesla Model Y Have Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is becoming such a common feature in new vehicles that most consumers assume all automakers offer it even if it’s something that costs extra. That’s not always the case, though. So, does Tesla include Apple CarPlay on its Model Y?

Tesla is known for going against the grain, and it thrives on setting trends. Going with the popular method is definitely not the Tesla way. So is the EV manufacturer bucking the trend again by creating something better?

What is Apple CarPlay?

Smartphones have become so integral to everyday life that it can almost feel painful not to use them while driving. With Apple CarPlay, you don’t have to leave your phone off. 

Whether you’re driving in an unfamiliar city or you can’t miss that conference call while stuck in traffic, Apple CarPlay makes life easier. Rather than skipping texting your friend, you can dictate messages and send them without ever touching your phone. 

CarPlay also allows access to all of your favorite apps, music, and calendar. It can even be used to unlock your vehicle.

The downside to Apple CarPlay is that it requires you to have an iPhone. For those who are using an older model, your phone may still not be compatible. Currently, only the iPhone 5 and later models can sync with CarPlay. And given that tech giants love updating their tech to the point that their older products no longer work, the list of compatible phones may shorten. 

Considering it’s hard to keep older products updated with the latest and greatest, that’s not exactly shocking. But it’s still frustrating for consumers who can’t afford to buy new.

What infotainment system is in the Model Y?

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Apple states, “Every major automobile manufacturer currently offers models that support CarPlay or is planning to introduce them.” The company also says more than 600 models are equipped with Apple CarPlay. Count the automakers on the list, and they total 67. So that means Tesla is on the list, right?

Well, no. Tesla isn’t on the list, and it doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay on the Model Y or any of its other vehicles. Rather than going with what everyone else does, Tesla has designed its own infotainment system. 

So why would Tesla decline to use Apple CarPlay, especially given the enormous popularity of it? As it turns out, Tesla’s infotainment system is integral to operating the vehicle.

Car and Driver reports, “In the Model Y, almost every function is managed through the large, slim infotainment display that’s in the middle of the dashboard. Everything from climate control to the speedometer is shown on this display, which takes some getting used to.”

Which system is superior?

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It’s hard to decide which infotainment system is better. Apple CarPlay’s is undeniably convenient if you’re an iPhone user. For those with an Android phone or older iPhone that won’t sync, Apple CarPlay is useless.

On the other hand, Tesla’s system doesn’t require a phone to use its features. Then there are the added perks, such as Netflix, Hulu, and the seemingly endless arcade games available only from Tesla. Sure, you can’t use the infotainment system when the car is off, but it’s still nice to have, especially when you’re charging up at the station. 

With that said, Tesla probably has the better system. It’s something everyone can use with a little practice, and it doesn’t require you to have a specific phone to enjoy it.