Tesla rolls out remote app for Model S

Tesla announced today the availability of a smartphone app that lets Model S owners schedule charging and view remaining range.

Tesla Model S app
Tesla's new app will let Model S owners view their cars' charging status. Tesla

When we reviewed the Tesla Model S , we came away very impressed by the driving character and the cabin electronics, but some features, common on other high-end or electric cars, were missing. Tesla made up for one of those features by making a smartphone app available that will let Model S owners view their battery levels.

These types of apps have become common for electric cars; Ford offers MyFord Mobile for the Focus Electric and Honda has its HondaLink EV for the Fit EV. The electric car includes a mobile data connection, which owners can use to view everything from battery status to the car's location. These apps often include features such as remotely starting or stopping charging, if the car is currently plugged in, and locking or unlocking the doors.

Tesla's app does not seem to be as expansive in its utility as some. In a blog post, the company says drivers can monitor charging, start climate control, and honk the horn. The mobile data connection means that the app will work anywhere the phone has coverage, although if the car is parked somewhere with no mobile data coverage, the app will not work.

An image of the app released by Tesla also seems to show the car's location.

Tesla demonstrated one of the virtues of the Model S in its implementation of the new app, its ability to deliver software updates to the car remotely. Past updates have covered bug fixes and the addition of voice command.

The Tesla app is available for iOS and Android.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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