Tesla Owners Need This $150 Android CarPlay Hack

Elon Musk’s Tesla could make some of the world’s most popular electric cars, but it still refuses to add a basic feature that owners have been asking for for a few years. Tesla refuses to add CarPlay support, leaving some to take matters into their own hands. Like using an Android tablet as a workaround, for example.

Yes, you read that right: someone used an Android tablet to run Apple CarPlay on their Tesla Model 3.

That someone was Reddit user euge_lee and he shared photos of the finished project for the world to see. They also shared information about how it all happened, with the Amazon Fire 8 Plus tablet powering it all. At just $59, the tablet doesn’t quite compete with the iPad Pro, but as a cheap way to integrate CarPlay into an electric vehicle, it works surprisingly well.

Along with that tablet, a CarLinkIt dongle was needed (apparently $58 for the wireless version direct from China), while a magnetic mount was also on the shopping list. A USB OTG cable, wireless charger, and Lightning cable complete the build.

The setup seems easier than you might think and there are more details on Reddit as well. The short version is that the Android tablet connects to the Model 3 via Bluetooth, with an iPhone connected to that tablet wirelessly via the dongle. This connection handles CarPlay data, interface, and audio.

So, with all the work done and everything in place, how did the project end? For less than $150 all inclusive, it’s not bad at all!

I love him. I especially like the “floating screen” aspect of how I mounted it. CarPlay works great with no hassles or issues so far. All the apps I mentioned above work as expected and the user interface is great. I posted a few years ago about installing my JL Audio subwoofer and this CarPlay update reignited my love of in-car entertainment once again.

Apple recently introduced iOS 16 and an updated CarPlay experience and said 80% of car buyers won’t consider a new vehicle if it doesn’t support the feature. Tesla fans are making it clear that the lack of CarPlay is a trade-off they’re willing to make. But some aren’t happy to live without one of the best iPhone features available to drivers and want to take matters into their own hands.

Even if it means buying an Android tablet to do it.

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