A big Apple feature is coming to Tesla EVs, but it probably isn't the one you're waiting for

Tesla Model 3
(Image credit: Tesla)

Sometimes it seems like we can't go a day without Tesla making headlines, but this time it's making it for a good reason — even if that reason isn't quite as good as we would have liked. While Tesla is still steadfast in its refusal to bring Apple CarPlay to its electric vehicles, there is at least now some light at the end of the tunnel if you happen to use one specific iPhone app to listen to your podcasts.

That's because Tesla is starting to roll out a new software update that will bring Apple Podcasts to its fleet of vehicles for the very first time. The move will allow Tesla drivers to listen to their podcasts using a new app within the existing Tesla software, something that mimics a previous update that added Apple Music support.

This new software update brings with it a ton of other new features including updates to the Tesla Arcade and support for automatically placing 911 calls when the vehicle's airbags deploy. The Apple Podcasts isn't even the only new audio addition with Tidal fans now able to shuffle their music for the first time. Who knew that wasn't already a thing people could do? Now they can.

A podcasting breakthrough

The new Holiday Update as it's known will come under the version number 2023.44.25 so Tesla drivers should start keeping an eye out for that release. Screenshots shared by "Not a Tesla App" show that there will be plenty of upgrades for Tesla drivers to enjoy but for Apple Podcasts fans, there's only one place to start.

According to Tesla's release notes drivers will be able to "listen to millions of the world's most popular podcasts." The explanation continues, saying that "Apple Podcasts for Tesla syncs with your favorite Apple devices, so you can seamlessly follow shows, save episodes, and pick up right where you left off."

Tesla also points out that Apple Podcasts users will be able to "browse new and noteworthy podcasts or explore what's trending on Top Charts."

This is of course great news for people who want to listen to their podcasts on the move safe in the knowledge that their progress will sync between their devices — a real boon for big podcast fans who listen to lots of shows or long episodes so they won't have to go hunting to find where they left off last time.

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Close, but no cigar

While Apple Podcasts fans can now listen to their podcasts as they drive, and Apple Music subscribers have access to their favorite music on the go, Tesla has still stopped short of doing the one thing that so many iPhone owners want it to do. There's still no CarPlay support and it's looking increasingly unlikely that we should expect that to happen any time soon.

That's such a shame, too. CarPlay works best when it's given room to breathe and the large touch displays found in every Tesla are well suited to running Apple's apps as well as those downloadable via the App Store. Tesla wants to keep strict control over what does and doesn't run in its cars though, and Apple of all companies should probably understand that desire. But as is always the case when companies dictate what does and doesn't happen with the things customers buy, it's the people who spend the money that lose out.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.