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.
Tesla's Model Y has won U.S. News 'Best Luxury Electric SUV' award. U.S. News writes "Despite the onslaught of
new competitors, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most capable and well-rounded luxury electric SUVs that you can
buy at the moment," U.S. News added, “If you’re in the market, this is an option that’s well-worth a test
The Model Y was first delivered to owners in early 2020 and was the automaker’s second mass-market vehicle after
the Model 3. The Model Y effectively expanded Tesla’s product line to include a new body style. Tesla’s Model Y
has rapidly become the company's best-selling vehicle, despite being more expensive than the Model 3. This
speaks to the prominence of the Model Y, dominating the widely-popular crossover SUV sector.
Tesla's Model Y starts at $62,990, making it much more appealing to mass markets than the Model X which starts at
$114,990. Tesla's Model X has been offered for seven years, but is still only produced for sentimental reasons,
according to CEO Elon Musk.
U.S. News highlights that, while the Model Y offers less cargo and utility room than the Model X, it still
includes many of the same tech features and comparable performance. A fully enhanced Model Y has a 0 to 60 MPH
of just 3.5 seconds while still having over 300 miles of range and a 155 MPH top speed.
It's no surprise that the Model Y was the recipient of the U.S. News ‘Best Luxury Electric SUV’ award as it
topped the list of best-selling EVs in the US in Q1 2022. In Q1 2022, U.S. EV sales were up 60% year-over-year,
demonstrating the continued shift away from internal combustion engine vehicles.
Tesla took first, second and third place with an impressive 52,051 registered units for the Model Y, and 47,682
registered units of the Model 3. These two models alone make up the bulk of the entire U.S. EV market. Tesla
also achieved third place with 9,250 registrations of the Model S and seventh place is the Tesla Model X with
4,899 registrations. Tesla remains the leader in EV sales, consistently selling a number of vehicles
unattainable to competitors.
You can add up to four buttons, but with this little trick, you can also add a fifth icon.
Add a Fifth Icon to the Tesla App
To add a fifth icon start by long-pressing the row of icons to bring up an editing screen to sort or replace
those icons with the ones you use most frequently.
Now here is where the fun starts because it will take a little manual dexterity to add the additional icon
but when you do it correctly your sense of accomplishment will out weight your initial frustration.
Here is the trick:
With your right thumb, pick up one of the available icons and drag it over the fourth icon (in the screen
above it is the Front Trunk icon), but do not release it.
While keeping your right thumb held down, use your thumb on your left hand to press on the 1st icon (in the
screen above it is the HVAC icon), and drag it to the second icon (the Defrost icon). The icon you have
brought up will move offscreen to the right into the invisible fifth spot.
Release both fingers simultaneously and VIOLA a fifth icon will magically appear.
Have fun mixing and matching your icons as your needs change. You can update the icon bar as often as needed.
Tesla used to allow users to continue to add an unlimited amount of icons, but it wasn't a great experience
so the total number of icons is now limited to five.
There are several other useful bits of information about the Tesla app that could make it more useful.
For example, you can tap the battery icon at the top of the screen to access charging information. This
brings up the same information as tapping on the Charge Quick Control icon.
If you prefer tapping the battery icon, you can remove the Charge icon from the Quick Controls area, allowing
you to free up a spot, essentially giving you an extra Quick Control slot.
Wake Up Your Vehicle Quicker
When using the app most commands are executed through the vehicle's internet connection, which requires your
vehicle to be awake.
Waiting for your vehicle to wake up could sometimes take up to a minute, but there is a way to
speed it up if you're within Bluetooth distance (around 30 feet).
Some commands are sent via Bluetooth, which allows them to be completed even if the vehicle is asleep. This
includes locking and unlocking the doors.
When completing one of these commands, your Tesla starts to turn on almost immediately.
If you're waiting for your vehicle to turn on, you can send a command to lock/unlock your vehicle and your
vehicle should wake up quicker than just waiting.
If you've added a fifth icon to your Quick Controls and use the Tesla app widget, then the widget will now
display all five icons as well.
No Need to Wait
With the introduction of the Tesla app version 4.0 last year, Tesla quietly rolled out a feature that changes
the way you use the app.
Previously, you needed to open the Tesla app, wait for your vehicle to wake up, and then you could send a
command to the car, such as using turning on the climate system or using HomeLink.
However, now you can simply open the app, tap your desired function (it'll show a spinning circle) and you
can quit the app.
Instead of the command going directly to your car, it will now be sent to Tesla. Tesla's servers will be the
ones who wait for your vehicle to wake up, and when it does, Tesla will execute the command.
If for some reason Tesla isn't able to wake up your vehicle due to a poor connection or another error, then
you'll receive a notification saying the command failed.
This makes turning on the HVAC system a much more enjoyable experience.
TeslaFi is a service that logs your drives and charging sessions so that you can later refer back to them. 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. View their about us page and see everything they have to offer!
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