Yesterday, Tesla released its new mobile app for the iPhone/iOS platform (version 4.2.1) with not just improvements to existing features, the automaker has added a brand new feature as well.
Tesla owners with the Tesla iOS app 4.2.1 coupled with Premium Connectivity can now remotely watch the surroundings of their cars on their mobile phones while their vehicle is parked.
One of our Twitter followers and readers, @BabyTesla3 had asked Elon Musk for this feature last Wednesday, “very soon,” Musk had replied. And within a week, the Tesla phone app has this feature. Besides being the CEO, Elon Musk is acting as an entire PR department of Tesla forged into one person.
The following official release notes describe this feature and how it can be turned on and off:
Sentry Mode Live Camera Access
You can now remotely view your car’s surroundings when parked to confirm the safety of your environment before returning to your car. Live camera is end-toend encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. To enable or disable tap Controls > Safety & Security.
Note: This feature requires iOS mobile app version 4.2.1 or higher and premium connectivity.Tesla release notes 2021.36.8
- Car software version 2021.36.8 or above
- Premium Connectivity (you’ll have Spotify)
- iOS or Android Tesla app version 4.2.1 or higher
Upon decompiling the Tesla iOS app, programmers found the parameters of the Live Sentry Mode Camera Access in the backend code. Looking at these parameters, we can see that even if Tesla Sentry Mode is turned off from inside the car, the phone app will turn it on when the owner tries to look at the live feed from the cameras.
Tesla mobile app will only show a live feed from the Sentry cameras (front, side repeaters, and rear-view). To view the recorded Sentry Mode event video clips, owners will have to use a USB flash drive.
Following are the tweaks and improvements that Tesla has made to its iOS and Android app in v4.2.1:
- Improvements to larger iOS widget to include quick controls.
- Solar and Powerwall supports Tesla-maintained utility rate plans. Utility rate plans now support seasons, multiple peak periods, and buy & sell energy prices.
- Powerwall’s Time-Based Control mode supports the updated rate plans to more accurately use energy from Powerwall when power is expensive and charge from other sources when power is at its cheapest.
Let’s watch how the live Sentry cam feed is shown on mobile as a Tesla owner has posted a video demonstration of this function.
Crimson red and other new colors revealed
Decompiling the Tesla iOS phone app version 4.2.1 revealed the names and hex codes of the new colors that Tesla is introducing for the first time for Giga Berlin-made Model Y electric SUVs.
Musk has often mentioned that the paint shop built at Gigafactory Berlin is the most advanced at any Tesla factory yet and maybe the world’s most advanced automotive paint shop as well.
The list of colors is as follows:
- Deep Crimson Multicoat
- Abyss Blue Multicoat
- Mercury Silver Metallic
Although the hex codes are visible in the code (screenshot above) but according to the hackers, these hex codes can only be correctly translated to intended colors in the Godot Engine (an open-source gaming engine).
Being a front-end programmer, and ex Adobe Flash animator I tried to convert these hex codes to colors in Photoshop but they went too dark. There are other parameters like the level of metallic and roughness in these colors that will correctly form the required color on the screen.
Tesla enthusiast @Tesla_Adri tried to do that and posted the following 3D model of these colors which is perhaps the closest match to the colors that Tesla Giga Berlin paint shop will be applying to the new Model Y.
Now, what about the new Android app? The last time Tesla launched version 4.0 of its mobile app, the iPhone/iOS app was released weeks before the Android version. From the looks of it, this time the Android app will be late as well.
Update: Tesla mobile app on Google Play has been updated to the latest version 4.2.2 — so owners with Android phones can also use the Sentry Mode live camera access feature.