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Tesla's iOS smartphone app is getting a substantial update with new controls, better management, and attractive aesthetics. You can also choose between two alternative sized widgets for your iPhone home screen with version 4.0. Both display the same information: the vehicle's name, battery percentage, location (or charging information), unlock status, a vehicle image, and the date the information was last updated. Tesla had a "Today" extension for iOS before, but it wasn't as detailed as the new widgets.
In terms of controls, instead of waiting for your car to wake up, you may transmit commands to it right after launching the app. There's also improved phone key support, which allows you to unlock multiple Teslas.
The new 3D car render provides an improved look that should be immediately recognizable. There are also new animations in the climate and controls sections, as well as when you charge your car. Tesla has removed the charging area from the design and now displays that information when your car is plugged in. From within the app, you can also view your Supercharging history.
The speed restriction, valet mode, and Sentry mode options have been transferred to a new category called Security, which also contains instructions on how to use Bluetooth, phone key, and location services.
This is the most significant update to the EV maker's iOS app in quite some time. Outside of the release of Virtual Power Plant enrolment in July, Tesla's recent focus has been on bug corrections and upgrades.
Tesla has announced a new initiative that would allow Powerwall owners to return power to the grid during peak usage periods. Customers can now sign up for the "Tesla Virtual Power Plant" in a beta phase, however they will not be compensated for the time being.
Tesla announced in a press release that “enrolment is now open for PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE customers who own Powerwall and solar but you will need the Tesla app version 3.10.14 and a new Powerwall firmware version, both of which will be available soon.”
So, how is it going to work? The app, for example, will send you a push message warning a few hours ahead of any grid stress incidents, according to Tesla. As demonstrated above, it will also highlight the time period during which the event will have an influence on your Powerwall usage.
As Tesla explained:
"Depending on the forecasted severity of the event, your Powerwall may prioritize charging from your solar system in advance of the event to help shift your home’s grid use to earlier in the day. If Powerwall fully charges before an event, your solar system will resume powering your home and export any excess power to the grid."
Customers will not be reimbursed for their contributions to the Virtual Power Plant, but Tesla encouraged consumers to participate for the "public benefit." Customers on nett metering schemes, on the other hand, will be reimbursed as usual for any power supplied back to the grid.
According to an application filed with the Texas Public Utility Commission earlier this month, Tesla wants to sell electricity directly to customers. The proposal comes after Tesla began construction on a large battery in Angleton, Texas (near Houston), with the goal of connecting a 100-megawatt energy storage system to the grid.
In February of this year, a cold snap hit Texas, leaving millions of citizens without electricity or water for days. Because the Texas grid is disconnected from the rest of the country, electricity transmission from other states was unable to help those who were left in the dark.
Tesla has also constructed many utility-scale energy storage systems around the world, including one east of Los Angeles, one in Monterey, California, and two in Australia, one in Geelong, Victoria, and the other in Adelaide, South Australia.
Tesla, on the other hand, hasn't built up these systems as a retail electricity provider. Tesla's large batteries, on the other hand, are more likely to assist other companies in energy creation, storage, and consumption. But looks like that will change in the future.