Tesla releases Holiday Update with 2021.44.25

By Nuno Cristovao

This year's Holiday Update was building up to be an exciting one. After last year's disappointment, Tesla was certainly not planning to repeat it again this year.

The Holiday Update was expected to be released to the first individuals on Tuesday, and just a few hours before, we're now seeing many of the new features in this year's Holiday Update.

Let's just say it's a good one. If you're the kind of person that prefers to be surprised, you may not want to scroll any further.

The Holiday Update comes in as version 2021.44.25.

Light Show

Tesla Light Show
Tesla Light Show
Emulsifide/Reddit

Just as the rumor showed yesterday, the former Model X exclusive Light Show easter egg will now be available on all Teslas.

This easter egg will have your car use its headlights, fog lights, turn signals, mirrors, and speakers to perform a coordinated light show.

The Model X's version of the easter egg plays the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It's not clear whether this easter egg will play the same song or offer a variety of songs to pick from.

Customizable App Launcher

Customize your app launcher
Customize your app launcher
Emulsifide/Reddit

This one is huge. Tesla is bringing some of the "v11" software features to the Model 3 and Model Y. Technically, the new Model S is not on v11, but its new interface is often referred to as v11 or the new UI.

It's not the entire Model S UI that is being brought over to the Model 3 and Model Y, but instead some of its most functional features.

Some features such as window docking, Auto Shift, the music mini-player, and other features will remain only on the new Model S, at least for now.

This feature brings over one of the most useful features of the new UI, a customizable app launcher.

The car's bottom navigation will now feature three areas. A fixed area of icons that you can't change, a customizable area where you can put your favorite Tesla apps such as the web browser, energy graph, or Spotify, and a Recents section that will show any recent apps you've used.

For better or worse, the app icons are now also the same ones from the Model S, featuring more detailed, colorful icons.

Simplified Controls

Simplified Controls
Simplified Controls
Emulsifide/Reddit

The Model 3 and Model Y feature swipeable cards underneath the car's visualization that shows important information such as the odometer, tire pressure readings, active call information, wiper settings, and more.

The idea of the cards is good, but some crucial information was only available in these cards, which wasn't intuitive. Tesla is fixing that in this update.

Tesla is keeping some of the cards such as wiper controls, but moving most of the other information into the car's main Controls menu.

For example, to access the odometer, you will now go to Controls > Trips, much like the Model S.

For tire pressure, you can go to Controls then choose Service.

Blind Spot Camera

Blind Spot Camera
Blind Spot Camera
Emulsifide/Reddit

You can now choose to have your car's fender camera feed displayed directly on the screen when you activate your turn signal.

This is the same camera view that can be displayed when you put your car into reverse.

It will be an option for those that prefer not to use it.

Edit Waypoints

Edit Waypoints
Edit Waypoints
Emulsifide/Reddit

Tesla introduced Waypoints just a few weeks ago. So many owners were excited to receive the update, but now, even before many owners have received waypoints, Tesla has a major update to it.

When waypoints was introduced, you needed to add destinations starting with your final destination first, as there was no way to reorder the destinations.

With this update Tesla is making waypoints more flexible, you will now be able to add, remove or reorder waypoints.

TikTok

TikTok
TikTok
Emulsifide/Reddit

TikTok will now be the latest video service added to your Tesla. It will require Tesla's Premium Connectivity plan unless you're on WiFi and it will be available alongside other streaming services in Tesla Theater.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog
Emulsifide/Reddit

This was another suspected feature in this year's holiday update. Elon and Sega both confirmed that the original Sonic game will be playable inside of Teslas in the near future.

Like many of Tesla's other games, this one will also support a controller. Check our list of all controllers compatible with your Tesla, as you may already have one that works.

The Battle of Polytopia - Multiplayer Support

Multiplayer Support
Multiplayer Support
Emulsifide/Reddit

Tesla added The Battle of Polytopia, a civilization-type game late last year. Tesla has now expanded the game to include multiplayer support.

Sudoku

Sudoku game
Sudoku game
Emulsifide/Reddit

Late last year Elon was asked on Twitter whether the game Sudoku could be added to Teslas. Elon responded with one of his typical, "sure" replies.

And a year later, we have Sudoku.

It looks like the game will have various difficulty levels and hints. Like most Tesla games, it should also save your progress so that you can continue your puzzle next time.

Cold Weather Improvements

Cold Weather Improvements
Cold Weather Improvements
Emulsifide/Reddit

Honestly, I'm not sure why Tesla is still using this term. I feel like we're all tired of seeing it and it causes an unintentional eye roll for many.

However, it looks like there is something worth mentioning here. You will now be able to precondition your car even if you have a low battery.

Previously if your battery had less than a 20% charge, you would not be able to precondition the car. It looks like Tesla will now let you precondition your car unless your car's battery is very low.

Automatic Seat Heaters

Automated seat heaters
Automated seat heaters
Emulsifide/Reddit

This was another feature that Elon said was coming soon earlier this year.

Tesla is simplifying the seat heater controls by turning the seat heater button into a single on/off button, instead of having four different settings (off, level 1, 2, and 3).

The temperature of your seat will instead vary based on the temperature of the cabin and what the climate system is set to.

You will continue to be able to set your seat heater manually if you don't have your HVAC system set to auto.

Manage Dashcam Clips

Delete all events
Delete all events
Emulsifide/Reddit

Tesla's dashcam is a fantastic feature, but it's easy to accrue a bunch of clips that later need to be deleted one by one.

With this update, Tesla will now let you delete all dashcam clips with a single tap in the main Controls menu.

Many users would have preferred to be able to manually select multiple Dashcam or Sentry Mode clips directly from the Dashcam Viewer and delete them that way, but this is a nice feature to have nonetheless.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode
Dark Mode
Emulsifide/Reddit

Tesla already supported light and night modes that would automatically switch based on the time of day.

However, Tesla is now introducing a new Dark Mode that will presumably be more usable during the day.

Tesla's previous night display was often difficult to see in bright situations. This mode is expected to use darker colors and increased contrast instead of the grays used in night mode.

Hide Map Details

Hide pins
Hide pins
Emulsifide/Reddit

Continuing with Tesla's theme of simplifying the display and controls, Tesla will now let you hide unneeded map information.

This new feature allows you to hide nearby locations that normally appear as a pin on the map.

It looks like these are the majority of the features in this year's holiday update.

These features are based on what an owner has received in their Model 3. There may be some additional features for other Model 3 configurations or features that may be exclusive to the Model S or Model X.

You can also view the release notes for Tesla's Holiday Update (2021.44.25).

Update: Tesla released many new features in the 2021 Holiday Update. The holiday update was released with version 2021.44.25.

Why Tesla Doesn't Need a Public Relations Department

By Kevin Armstrong
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Does Tesla need a PR department?
Tesla

Tesla is a regular in the news cycle; if it's not about the vehicle, it's about the CEO. It's no secret Tesla stock is down, and investors who are long on the stock have lost a considerable amount over the past month. One of those investors is Gary Black, the Future Fund managing partner, who said in August that Tesla is the fund's largest position. Black is calling on Tesla to hire a public relations department to inform the media and the public of the positives around the brand.

Oddly enough, at the shareholders' event in August, Black said, "the thing we worry about most is not PR; it's succession." Now it seems that is what Black is worried about. He recently tweeted: People can't complain about the media if TSLA refuses to correct articles that are wrong, or worse, won't maintain relationships with TSLA beat reporters and editors so they can get TSLA's POV out when needed. Strong PR will be needed to sell FSD safety. Think long-term.

Black's stance may be understandable to some, especially those who have watched their trading account shrink, but it's implausible because Tesla doesn't need a PR department.

Musk and the Mainstream Media Don't Mix

Musk is currently using his new company to hold mainstream media accountable. In case you missed it, he's releasing the Twitter Files, a detailed report backed up with real emails to show suppression of true stories.

The Tesla CEO also regularly calls out media outlets for false stories, misleading headlines and biased reporting. Musk will not hire a team to try to steer newsrooms, something he has so little respect for, and it's unlikely legacy media outlets will listen.

Media Biased Against Tesla

Bad news generates more views and clicks and keeps the advertisers paying. Even when the news isn't bad, take, for example, a recent Reliability Report by Consumer Reports. Most, if not all, mainstream media declared Tesla as the terrible one, even though Tesla moved up four spots from the previous year. It was hard to find a mention of the manufacturers that scored less. Those included Chevrolet, GMC, Volkswagen, Jeep, and Mercedes Benz. Yes, the expensive luxury brand was dead last in reliability. That is a story.

Reporters also picked up that electric vehicles scored low for reliability. Consumer Reports said it was because EVs are new on the market. However, scoring even lower were full-sized pickups. Those have been on the market for quite a bit longer.

Tesla, which also has not spent a dime on advertising, disbanded its public relations department in 2020. That's unheard of by a company its size, especially in the automotive sector. However, Tesla and Elon have something much better — you are reading it right now. Not a Tesla App is one of several blog sites that publish news about Tesla daily. Many of these websites have writers who own Teslas. The stories are much more accurate, positive and just plain better than anything readers will find in the mainstream. Who says bias must be negative?

Word of Mouth Advertising

Now add hundreds, maybe even thousands of loyal enthusiasts who defend and promote Tesla on social media platforms. Next, throw into the mix the hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners who quite often are spokespeople for the company whenever they get out of the car. I've been sure to add 10 minutes of travel time to my drives because I'm likely to get asked some questions at the grocery store or car wash.

This kind of advertising money cannot buy, and it's the kind of positive publicity media will not share. So while Black's concerns are legitimate, a PR department is not the solution. Instead, Tesla needs to keep doing what it's been doing and let the product, its fans and the Tesla-inspired websites do the rest.

More About Tesla’s WiFi Garage Door Support, Its Cost and Features

By Nuno Cristovao
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
How MyQ will be integrated in Tesla vehicles
MyQ

Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.

Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.

Vehicles Supported

MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.

Cost

Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.

The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.

Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.

However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.

Integration

The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.

On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.

On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.

You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.

If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.

The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.

The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.

MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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