Tesla’s redesigned its mobile app so it’s better looking and more useful

The changes highlight just how connected the company's vehicles really are

Tesla electric car being charged at a charging station located in the parking lot of a Cambria Suite...
RiverNorthPhotography/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

One key benefit of Tesla vehicles is that they’re super-connected to the internet, so much so that the automaker is able to improve customer’s cars even years after they roll off the line. The same applies, of course, to its mobile apps.

To that end, Electrek reports that Tesla has released a completely redesigned version of its app, with which drivers can manage their vehicle and control functions like preheating from afar.

Minor but convenient — The newly updated app, version 4.0, includes a slew of enhancements that are minor but should nonetheless be welcomed by owners. For instance, Tesla’s can be unlocked using just a smartphone, but owners with multiple vehicles (so relatable, lol) have long griped that they have to select a specific car in the app before they can use their phone to unlock. Now, Tesla has improved the “phone key” system to more intelligently understand which car you’re standing next to and unlock that one.

Complaining about the experience of owning two Tesla’s... we can only imagine.Electrek

The app also includes improvements for owners of Tesla’s Powerwall stationary home battery. Owners of that system can now press one button called “Go Off-Grid” to disconnect their home from a utility grid and rely solely on the Powerwall for energy.

Over-the-air — Tesla led the way with its over-the-air updates for automobiles. Before, most of these updates would have required taking a vehicle to a dealership in order to have them retrofitted with new hardware or the software updated. Other automakers including Ford are now designing their electric vehicles with support for similar over-the-air updates. That automaker recently added support for Amazon’s Alexa assistant to its Mustang Mach-E, for instance.