Just like any other big screen, the one that floats in the middle of every Tesla's dashboard (horizontal or vertical), runs software that anyone could, theoretically write.
As it stands now, Tesla controls everything that goes into the screen, including apps such as Slacker and TuneIn that are available to listen to in Teslas.
Tesla owners have long been frustrated, however, that the screen can't access other apps such as Spotify, Pandora, or Waze for navigation, as many other automakers' center infotainment screens do.
In an interview on the unofficial Tesla "Ride the Lightning" podcast last weekend, CEO Elon Musk expressed interest in allowing third party developers to build apps for the Tesla system, though he said the company currently doesn't sell enough cars to make it worthwhile for those developers.
While Tesla locks down its center screens, in part because they control critical car functions as well as infotainment, Musk's comments indicate the company could be open to allowing more independent apps into its cars.
Writing for the system shouldn't be rocket science. It uses an Intel processor running Linux, not unlike an Android tablet.
How soon users are likely to see new apps, however, depends on whether and how quickly Tesla can ramp up sales and whether those third-party app developers can make money developing their software for Teslas.