Tesla has updated its Android app in an attempt to improve the connectivity and functionality of the Phone Key for the Model 3. To date, Tesla’s Phone Key has proven to be underwhelming, relegating owners to using the keycard to get into the car. A new FCC application even hinted that Tesla heard the message loud and clear and was working on a bluetooth Key Fob for the Model 3.
Getting down to the freshest details, the new Tesla Android app gives Model 3 owners a persistent notification that regularly pings the car and displays the connection status in the roll-up notification bar. When the shade is pulled down, the notification can be pulled down to reveal options for owners to unlock the car, pop the frunk, or pop the rear trunk of the car.
The update to the app and the new easy access functionality drastically improve the quality of the connection with the car. Along with that, the update improves the reliability of the Phone Key solution. In just a few hours with the new app, our testing has resulted in perfect performance so far on our Samsung Galaxy S8 (after much struggling before).
On the flip side, the new functionality will surely have a negative impact on battery life for users’ phones, so be ready for the inevitable backlash to the update that will serve to remind us that the Law of Unintended Consequences never sleeps.
To further improve performance of the app for Android users running Android Marshmallow or newer software, it is also worth getting into the settings to disable the new snooze functionality that can put apps running in the background to sleep. Putting apps to sleep was intended to improve the performance of the phone while extending battery life — and it does that — but at the expense of killing the persistent functionality of certain apps. Allowing the Tesla app to snooze on Android effectively kills or significantly diminishes the reliability of the Phone Key solution.
Has the new update changed your life? Has it improved your performance? Do you have tricks and tips for getting into a Model 3 with the Phone Key (legally) that we didn’t cover? Share them with the community in the comments below!
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