While Tesla’s mobile app was really well-received when it launched back in 2012 and it was ahead of the industry at the time, it hasn’t received much attention from Tesla’s UI and development team over the past 4 years.
In November 2016, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla is planning a big update for the app coming in late December. It’s now a little late, but Electrek has learned new details about the upcoming app update.
Sources familiar with the update told Electrek that it features a major UI overhaul, including refresh buttons, a more detailed render of the user’s vehicle, and the addition of direct hotkeys to the functions instead of having to toggle between different screens.
The UI refresh is only one part of the update. Tesla is also introducing several new features.
Tesla added touch identification login to the app and owners can now setup personal identification numbers (PIN) from the app for people, like valets, to use the car.
Arguably, the best new feature coming with the update is the widget integration.
Owners can now add a Tesla widget on their phone and access their car’s status, including range, charge, and location. Hotkeys can activate from climate control, remote starting, and lock/unlock the vehicle from the home screen.
Musk first said that the app update would come in December 2016, but with the focus being on the first phase of Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot, both the version 8.1 of the operating system and the app have been delayed to “late January”. Therefore, the update is expected in the coming weeks.
8.1 will also bring a Linux kernel upgrade, which should enable several improvements to Tesla’s in-car system in addition to the app update.