According to Sawyer Merritt and Teslascope, Tesla is in active development of an app store for its vehicles. The app store is rumored to be released before the first Cybertrucks are delivered.
Concept designer DeleetDesigns has even designed what a Tesla app store could look like.
What a Tesla app store can look like
Having a Tesla app store is certainly an interesting concept, and I certainly believe Tesla is working on one, but it may not be what you think it is.
The concept by DeleetDesigns is well-executed and it brings some interesting ideas to the table like letting you charge items to your Tesla account.
However, it leads us to believe that a Tesla app store will be similar to Apple's or Google's versions.
I'm not sure apps like Burger King, Slack, Twitter, and others are great candidates for the Tesla app store.
There are only about 2 million Teslas. While it's certainly impressive what Tesla has been able to accomplish, that's only about 0.0016% of all the active iPhones in the world. What this means is that developers wouldn't put as much money and time into their Tesla app versions. And after they're developed, they'll quickly fall behind their smartphone counterparts.
Tesla could avoid this issue by letting users run Android apps, similar to how you could run Andorid apps on some Chromebooks, but most of these apps don't scale well to larger screens, especially a 15 or 17-inch screen.
It'll always be easier to scroll through something like Twitter on your phone than it is on a screen that's an arm's length away from you. It's also more convenient to type on a phone than it is to peck at an on-screen keyboard.
What We Think the Tesla App Store Will Be
We know that Tesla is working on an app store, and here's what we think it'll be like.
Instead of being an app store similar to Apple's that allows developers to make any kind of app, we think Tesla will be limiting the apps to the ones that are well suited for use in a car.
It's expensive to create the framework required to create an app store, especially one that allows apps to be as versatile as phone apps are today. Why should Tesla go through all that work for developers to create apps that few people will use?
How often do find yourself wanting to use your TV instead of your smartphone? Even for some video apps like TikTok, it doesn't make a lot of sense. It's just easier to swipe on your phone.
Many set-top boxes can run all sorts of apps, but most people don't want to shop on Amazon or browser Facebook on their TV.
Instead, they want to use their TV for apps that can provide an experience their phone isn't able to. Apps that allow them to stream video on a larger screen, like Netflix, or exercise with apps like Peloton or Apple Fitness+, or maybe even share a slideshow for the family. What we're not doing is responding to emails or Slack messages on the TV, or even looking at stock quotes. That kind of stuff is much more suited for a phone.
Although Tesla has one of the best infotainment systems of any vehicle, it can't compete with a device that you upgrade every few years. A device that has a faster connection, higher resolution screen, more storage, easier payment authentication, and a faster processor.
A Tesla app will be successful when can leverage the benefits a Tesla can provide over your phone; a bigger screen and integration with your Tesla.
Tesla won't bother creating APIs for developers to build apps that aren't well suited for a Tesla.
Instead, Tesla will focus their efforts on building developer tools that will allow anyone to create apps that will excel in a Tesla. These apps will be for things such as SiriusXM and Apple Music. It could be video streaming apps like YouTube TV and Amazon Prime Video.
These apps will integrate seamlessly into your Tesla UI, just like DeleetDesigns illustrates in his concept.
What if Tesla had an app store? I put together this prototype to see what it might be like. What apps would you want to see?
The Tesla app store would let developers port additional games to Teslas as well, giving owners even more gaming options.
Creating an app store will be a huge win for Tesla. There are a lot of entertainment options out there and Tesla can't keep up with all the latest streaming services.
By creating an app store and APIs for developers, Tesla can offload the development of these apps to other companies. It'll allow companies like Apple to create Apple Music for your Tesla, it'll allow SiriusXM can create a streaming SiriusXM app. This will free up Tesla's engineers' time and give owners the apps they're looking for.
Most Teslas have relatively small hard drives, so they're not capable of storing apps endless amounts of video streaming apps and games. By creating an app store, users could install only the apps and games that are relevant to them. This will help free up space taken up games or apps the owner may not use today.
To run apps similar to our smartphones and tablets, Teslas would require a more capable processor than the one used in most Teslas. It'd likely only be available for Teslas with MCU 3, which would exclude almost all Teslas manufactured so far.
However, if the app store was limited to games, video, and audio streaming apps, then it could be available for MCU 2 vehicles as well.
All of the video streaming apps in Teslas today are just full-screen versions of the app's website. Having developers create native experiences for Netflix, YouTube and others would make these apps much more responsive than they are today.
We know that Tesla is creating an app store that will likely be released in the coming year. The app store will benefit Tesla and Tesla owners alike, but we may have to alter our expectations of what a Tesla app store will be.
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As the Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure at Tesla, Rebecca Tinucci is not just a key executive in the company but also a pivotal figure in the electric vehicle industry. She has been recognized as one of the "100 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Business for 2023" by Time Magazine.
Well Deserved Recognition
Tinucci's notable achievement in 2023 was her successful negotiation with other leading EV manufacturers to expand access to Tesla's charging network across the United States. This strategic move involved integrating major automotive brands such as BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota into Tesla's charging ecosystem.
This expansion has made Tesla's charging standard the de facto choice in North America and opened new revenue streams for the company by welcoming non-Tesla EV owners to use its network. Additionally, it has positioned Tesla to benefit from federal charging infrastructure funding, from which it was previously excluded.
This strategic expansion under Tinucci's leadership signifies a monumental shift in the EV charging landscape. By creating a more inclusive charging network, Tesla has not only bolstered its position in the market but also contributed significantly to the broader adoption of EVs, reinforcing the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation.
Tinucci was a shining star among Tesla's leadership during the Investor Day 2023 event in March. She enthusiastically led the audience through Tesla's charging advancements and teased the future. Tinucci was the one to first hint at the Tesla retro diner that is now under construction in Los Angeles. She also gave a lot of ammunition to speculate about a possible charging pad.
Educational and Early Professional Foundations
After completing her Commerce, Finance, and Management studies at the University of Virginia, Tinucci embarked on her professional journey in 2008 as a Management Consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates in New York. In 2009, she ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing Evatran. This enterprise, known as Plugless Power in the market, specializes in the pioneering field of wireless EV charging.
Tinucci's career took a significant turn when she relocated to the West Coast in 2018 and joined Tesla in a pivotal role as a Senior Product Manager. She distinguished herself by forming and leading a team focused on developing Machine Vision technologies for advanced manufacturing processes there. Her ability to drive progress was quickly recognized, leading to her promotion to Senior Program Manager of the Energy Group within just four months, where she focused on software development and pivotal strategic projects.
Ascending the Ranks at Tesla
Tinucci's climb through Tesla's ranks was rapid and impactful. She soon took on the role of Staff Technical Program Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing critical initiatives throughout the engineering division. As the Senior Manager for Super Charging, she played a crucial role in Tesla's expansion, implementing innovative features such as integrating wait times into Tesla's navigation system for busy Supercharger stations and introducing variable charging rates based on the time of day at selected locations.
Her promotion to Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure marked a significant milestone in her career. Tinucci oversees Tesla's worldwide charging business units in this role, directing a team of more than 450 professionals. Her recognition by Time Magazine underscores her influence and the critical role she plays in advancing sustainable transportation solutions. As she continues to lead Tesla's charging infrastructure to new heights, her contributions are setting new benchmarks in the EV assigning domain.
We have good news if you happened to be one of the first handful of people who took delivery of a Cybertruck on November 30. More than 25 accessories are available for purchase to amp up the most talked about vehicle on the planet.
Cybertruck Color Paint Film, Matte Black or Matte White
There are three wraps available for the Cybertruck
We thought wraps would become available, but surprisingly, Tesla is offering the service immediately. Cybertruck wraps are available in matte black or white for $6,500. This premium wrap option allows owners to personalize their vehicle and adds a layer of protection to the Cybertruck's already robust exterior.
Another option for those seeking to maintain the Cybertruck's appearance is the transparent satin film, available for $5,000. This film provides an extra layer of protection, helping keep the vehicle's body safe from scratches and the elements.
Basecamp - The Outdoor Enthusiast's Dream
Basecamp is a tent made specifically for the Cybertruck
Since day one, four years ago, people have been talking about the camping capabilities of the Cybertruck. Like most trucks, it's unlikely that most Cybertrucks will even leave the pavement. However, for those who love the great outdoors, the Cybertruck BaseCamp has you covered.
Priced at $2,975, this accessory is perfect for camping, featuring an ultra-light geodesic air-frame design. It inflates quickly, offers a tactical grey kaleidoscope-patterned interior, and includes screen windows for airflow and star-gazing, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.
More Shopping Options
A foldable ramp for the Cybertruck adds more utility
Tailgate Ramp ($400): is a practical addition for loading and unloading cargo like ATVs or dirt bikes, enhancing the Cybertruck's utility.
Cybertruck MOLLE Panels ($250): we saw these at the Tesla Lithium factory groundbreaking. Customize and organize your Cybertruck with the MOLLE Panels for $250, offering versatile mounting options for gear and tools.
Tesla is offering a roof rack for the Cybertruck, similar to other models
The roof rack costs $800 and is an essential accessory that offers additional storage options for long trips.
Vault Cargo Divider ($350): This divider allows for better organization and secure transportation of goods in the truck's bed.
Snow Chains $345: a must-have for driving in snowy terrains, ensuring safety and traction in challenging conditions.
Additional Cybertruck Accessories: Enhancing Functionality and Style
Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra + Tire Repair Kit: Keep your journey uninterrupted with the Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra and Tire Repair Kit, priced at $550. This kit ensures that you're prepared for any tire-related emergencies on the road, which becomes since the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire. This item will become available in early 2024, according to Tesla.
Cybertruck Bumper Protectors: Protect your Cybertruck's exterior with durable bumper protectors for $80, safeguarding against scratches and dents.
Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade: For $115, the Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade reduces sunlight glare and heat, making it a must have in extreme temperatures.
Cybertruck Spare Tire + Tool Kit: Although the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire, you can buy one to tie down in the truck's bed. The Cybertruck Spare Tire and Tool Kit is $1,250.
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck
My personal favorite is the Cybertruck OMFG Decal for $55. The window didn't smash during the delivery event when it was hit with a baseball, like it did with a steel ball at the Cybertruck announcement four years ago. However, you can relive that moment and have an OMFG Decal.
TeslaFi logs your drives and charging sessions, letting you keep a log of your vehice's activity. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. Visit their site and see everything they have to offer!
The EV Universe newsletter reports distill more than 100 EV news sources into a 10-minute read every week. We cover both Tesla and the rest of the EV industry. Join over 3,000 EV geeks like us and subscribe to the free weekly newsletter here.
Tesla Android Project enables you to run Android apps in your Tesla. The platform is Open Source and you can deploy it on your own Raspberry Pi 4. Consider supporting the initiative by donating or purchasing the Compute Module 4 Bundle that delivers the best experience. Get $20 off by using the code: NotATeslaApp
The official Tesla app only notifies you if your car is broken into. By installing Sentry Pro on your phone, you will be notified for all Sentry Mode events. Stay connected and avoid potential surprises by receiving notifications. Stop constantly checking the cameras to ensure safety. Check only when necessary, save battery and get peace of mind. Get a 7 day free trial here!