If you’re the sort of person that buys a car as hi-tech as a Tesla, it’s only natural you’re going to want to control it with an Apple Watch – and who could resist pretending to be communicating with KITT, the intelligent car in the 80s TV show Knight Rider?

Even so, hitting the number one slot in the Lifestyle category of the iOS App Store with a $10 app that’s only of any use to owners of a rather exclusive car is still impressive. Remote S for Tesla is a third-party app which uses the Tesla API to allow you to control a number of the car’s functions using a combination of iPhone and Apple Watch.

Highlights are the ability to unlock and start the car using Touch ID, monitor all three ranges at once (estimated/rated/ideal) and keep the heating/cooling running for more than 30 minutes when the car is not being used. Tech-ier users can even create web pages that communicate with the app.

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The developer, Rego Apps, says that login credentials and commands are sent only directly to the Tesla servers, with no personally identifiable information stored by Rego. A number of the functions are unique to the Remote S app, shown below.

  • Fully functional Apple Watch app
  • Start car with Touch ID without needing a password (can be disabled)
  • Camp Mode allows you to keep the HVAC on in the car even though there is no activity. Normally, the car will turn off HVAC after 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the panoramic roof to more settings than just vent and close
  • Breadcrumb tracking allows you to see the path that car has recently taken
  • Accurate odometer readout. Remote S gives you the odometer reading that is accurate up to a few feet instead of rounded to the nearest mile.
  • In-app browser can detect commands from javascript and html so that you can create and use a webpage to control your car
  • This opens up all sorts of functionality, such as scheduling, queued commands, and repeated commands
  • Consolidated stats and commands into one screen for quicker and easier access
  • Start/unlock car with Apple Watch without a password
  • Ability to change passenger and driver temperature settings separately instead of always together
  • Estimated range is displayed (this takes the average consumption of your past 30 miles and estimates your battery range based on that past usage)
  • Monitor all three ranges (estimated, rated, ideal) at the same time without changing the settings in your car

With Apple rumored to be working on its own electric car, the two companies have for some time been poaching employees from each other. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently that he hoped Apple will indeed enter the car market.

The app is a $9.99 download from iTunes.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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