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Tesla may start mirroring apps from smartphones on its big touchscreen

Tesla is considering allowing smartphone apps from an iPhone or Android device to be mirrored on its giant 17-inch center console display, rather than building its own native app development kit for developers, which the company had hinted at several years ago.

Speaking at an event for Tesla owners in Hong Kong, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the focus of Tesla's infotainment efforts would be to "enable you to project apps from your phone to the center screen." It's not clear whether Musk is referring to platforms like Android Auto or CarPlay, which allow a limited sort of mirroring of smartphone apps, or something more Tesla-centric.

It's also not clear what might have prompted the change, but 9to5Google suggests it may be due to the security concerns of developing a full-fledged app platform in a system that is so closely tied to the functionality of the car.

Most major automotive manufacturers have promised to implement Android Auto and CarPlay (with a couple notable exceptions), but Tesla has thus far declined to participate — of course, Tesla has one of the best infotainment systems, using a huge 17-inch touchscreen well before the rest of the industry started to embrace large central screens.