Remote app: Shortcuts, Siri, automation, trip analysis, and Apple Watch support for Tesla

Remote app: Shortcuts, Siri, automation, trip analysis, and Apple Watch support for Tesla

In 2015, I created an iOS app for Tesla in the first week that the Apple Watch came out so that users could control their cars from their watch as soon as they got it (something that the official Tesla app still doesn't support). Since then, a large percentage of Tesla owners have started using my Remote S for Tesla app for their iPhones as well since it connects faster, exposes more car stats, keeps a location history, shows charging information from your last session, and has less restrictions when using Summon/HomeLink (no need to be near the car and no need to hold down the button). More recently, I updated the app to support Siri Shortcuts on the first day that iOS 12 and watchOS 5 came out with Shortcuts. Now users are using the app to do things like opening their trunk by talking to Siri, combining commands in the Shortcuts app, and even summoning their car to them by talking to their watch.

For the past three and a half years, the app has been updated, polished and expanded with new features because of the tremendous user feedback. I already have a 500+ reply thread in the Model S forum, but have started to notice that users with the Model 3 have been jumping into that thread with Model 3 specific comments. So I'm starting this new forum thread to answer all questions, bug reports, UI suggestions, and feature requests for Model 3 owners specifically.

The app currently works for the Model S, 3 & X, and will be supporting future vehicles as well. I'm still working on an Android version of this app. I'll edit this post with an ETA when I'm closer to finishing it.

Download link:

Raffim | October 3, 2018

Great app, and works fantastic with Siri Shortcuts!

jaygolden | October 3, 2018

Do you have a website that we can reference other than the iTunes link?

How well does this work with Apple Watch LTE 3 or 4?

Is there a YouTube page?


regoapps | October 3, 2018

@jaygolden I have a website that’s built into the app that includes a visual instructions guide and extra controls such as exposing the raw data straight from the server:

It works very well with all Apple Watches. Siri Shortcuts are supported for those watches as well. I personally own the original Apple Watch and the Series 4 LTE as well and use Remote S daily on those.

I have a few Remote S videos posted on my YouTube channel (along with other unrelated videos). I plan on uploading a new video shortly that shows users how to user Siri Shortcuts on the iPhone and Apple Watch to do things like combining commands and using HomeLink/Summon via Siri on the Apple Watch. The channel is:

I’ll link to the new video here when I finish putting it together.

AMDPower | October 3, 2018

Fantastic app man! Discovered the Siri shortcuts a week or so ago and LOVE it. I'm working on an integration currently with my home control system (Extron / Python) and I'm curious how you have the Summon shortcut in there for Siri. Isn't that handled over bluetooth? I'm using Tesla JSON API published by Tim Dorr. Do you have further information? Thanks and keep up the good work!

regoapps | October 3, 2018

@AMDPower It's handled over websocket protocol, wss:// and requires a continuous connection with Tesla's summon server.

AMDPower | October 3, 2018

Ahh yes. I just found a discussion on GitHub. Thanks! I assume the phone (bluetooth) needs to be in proximity for it to work though right?

regoapps | October 4, 2018

@AMDPower I'm able to Summon my Model S without a key (nor bluetooth) via Remote S by doing a keyless start first. I'm not sure if that's how it works in a Model 3, but I guess if someone tries it out, we'll know the answer. I don't have a Model 3 with autopilot to test with. And that's why this forum thread will be helpful for me to improve my app.

casun | October 4, 2018

i don’t have the app (yet) but i’m interested in learning more about the apple watch functionality.

gbb0131 | October 4, 2018

Just downloaded the app the other day so I could use the Siri shortcuts to open the Trunk & Frunk... :-)

av | October 4, 2018

Bought the app this past Sunday (Model 3 was delivered on Sat. 9/29)
I had no idea how cool this app was.
Just went & looked at the Siri shortcuts on the app....badass...

jaygolden | October 4, 2018

@regoapps thanks! At $9.99 for an app definitely nice to be in touch with the programmer.

h2ev | October 4, 2018

I don't even have my car yet, but one of the first things I looked up after placing the order was to see if there'a an Apple watch companion app. To my surprise the official Tesla app doesn't have one. Out of the ones I looked at, Remote S seems to be the most capable.

My only reservation on any 3rd party app is having to enter my logon credentials. Can the OP provide some details on the login process on the app?

Also, from watching Youtube videos, I seem to recall someone mentioning that many 3rd party apps cause additional drain on the battery while parked. Is there some specific functions that can be disabled to stop the drain?

regoapps | October 4, 2018

As promised, here's a video of using Siri Shortcuts on the Apple Watch to Summon a Tesla and do other things:

@casun This is a video of the very first version of Remote S on the Apple Watch: It has since been improved to include new functions including opening the Trunk/Frunk and combining the Keyless start and Unlock commands into one button. See the video link above to see Siri Shortcuts in action on the Apple Watch.

@h2ev The only communication that the app does is through Tesla's servers including the login process. No login information is stored anywhere except on your device's Keychain (which is encrypted by Apple). This has been proven over the past 3.5 years that this app has been available by several security experts. I welcome anyone to intercept the internet packets sent by the app to show that the app doesn't connect to any other server other than Tesla's servers.

There is no drain on the car. I've coded the app to not run when you're not running it.

baback | October 4, 2018

How do you cancel / Stop a Summon function if you start it off the watch ?

regoapps | October 4, 2018

@baback press the door handle or stand in the way of the car. Just kidding. You could add a stop Summon Siri shortcut, but I wouldn’t recommend that method, since Siri takes a bit to understand you. The other method is to press the Stop Summon button in the force touch menu of the maps page on the Apple Watch Remote S app. And finally, the fastest way would be to open the iPhone. The iPhone Remote S app should already be preloaded and a Stop Summon button would already have popped up for you to press. Or you can turn off the iPhone screen or move away from the app and it will stop the Summon automatically as well.

jaygolden | October 4, 2018

So do you have to download the shortcut app to your iPhone and program a shortcut to make all this work? or the shortcuts are in the app?


regoapps | October 4, 2018

@jaygolden Shortcuts app is optional. Shortcuts app is if you want to combine commands or connect this app with other commands or if you want to write some script to only do certain commands if certain conditions are met or things like that. If you just want Siri to do just one command with nothing fancy, then you can just set it up through Siri & Search in the Remote S settings, and you'll be okay.

AMDPower | October 4, 2018

Holy cow that actually works! I was able to remote start and summon from in my bedroom while watching it in the security cameras. Awesome! Well there ya go! Works with the Model 3.

Jeffers0n | October 4, 2018

Just bought the app today. Any chance of adding a Siri Shortcut to get battery level and charging information? Most of your shortcuts seem geared towards commands vs getting information. Also I would love more Apple Watch complications, like battery level and charge completion %.

Love the watchOS app. I wish the iOS app felt more "iOS native" like the watchOS app does. Any plans on getting rid of the web view for the advanced controls? The ads on the advanced web view are kind of tacky too.

Can you also speak to the security of your app? Where are credentials stored and how are they used? Thanks!

regoapps | October 4, 2018

@AMDPower awesome! Enjoy being able to truly remotely summon your Model 3 :)

@Jeffers0n That's my next update actually. That's why I wanted to make this feedback thread to see what kind of car stats people want to see as a Shortcut. But for now, there's a default Siri command that already gets that information for you. You can just ask "What's my car's charge?" and it will tell you.

As for complications, that's a possibility for a future update. For now, I've kept it as just a shortcut to the Remote S app because I don't like the idea of my app constantly polling the car for information and never letting it sleep. So right now, Remote S doesn't run unless you run it, and therefore will not add any phantom/vampiric drain to the car when you're not looking at it. I'm sure that I'll think of a compromise in the future, though.

I actually like the web view, because I can change it instantly and don't need to update the app to change it. Also people can create their own web page with their own presets and have that load as the default view.

Credentials are only stored in your own Apple Keychain, and the app only communicates through Tesla's servers directly through an encrypted connection. None of the commands are done through any third party servers, and the app is completely standalone between your device and Tesla's servers. Even the commands done on the web view are done through client-side javascript code instead of server-side code.

Finoguy | October 4, 2018

How about a haptic tap from the watch when the car locks as i'm walking away from it? I don't like turning on the horn chirp (too noisy), but I often turn around to watch the car to make sure that the mirrors are folding in to make sure it locked. If my watch gave me a little tap as I'm walking away, that would be awesome.

eplaskett | October 4, 2018

I like the idea of the tap from the watch telling me that the car has locked itself; great idea!

I would also love to see a feature that turns on the AC based on the time of day and both my and the car's locations. For instance: I work in a very large office and have a pretty long walk to my car, about a quarter mile. I try to remember to switch on the car's climate control before leaving my desk, but don't always remember. It would be great to be able to set up some kind of macro that says, IF the car is parked in this general location and IF it's after 5 PM and IF I (via my watch or my phone) have left a radius of about 100 yards or so of my desk, THEN switch on the climate control. Ideally, I would add a time-out function so that it doesn't run continuously if I have left my car at the office while traveling for work, which is not unusual, since our office is right next to the airport.

If I understand things correctly, the new Shortcuts app doesn't yet support actions based on location, so this might not be possible yet, but one can always hope for the future, right?

jaygolden | October 4, 2018

Is there a way you can keep track how much you have charged your car each time in kilowatts? Thanks for the responses

regoapps | October 5, 2018

@Finoguy @eplaskett unless the app is constantly monitoring the lock status, I don't think I can program that in. You're better off using my app's siri command on the iPhone or Watch: "Is my car locked?" I'd prefer not to have to have the app monitor any car stats when you're not using it, because that would increase battery drain.

@eplaskett I haven't dived deep enough into the Shortcuts app to know whether it's possible to do all those things. But I could expose the car's stats such as the car's location as a Siri Shortcut. So play around with the Shortcuts app and then let me know what stats you want to see as a Shortcut that would make that work for you.

@jaygolden From the API, I can only see how many kW your last charging session was. And that car stat is exposed on the bottom left of your iPhone Remote S app. But I guess I can expose that information as a Siri Shortcut, and you could possibly write a Shortcut in the Shortcuts app that would write down this information into the Notes app or email it to yourself. Would that work?

jaygolden | October 5, 2018

@regoapps something like that...what I was looking to track was the kW usage per charge so at the end of the billing cycle I can see how many kW it took to charge the car so I can account for the usage properly and pay my portion on the electric bill :) Thanks

Finoguy | October 5, 2018

New user—really liking this app. I have the original Apple Watch, and haven’t been able to get Siri to work from the watch—wanted to say “Hey Siri—warm up my car!”. Is that watch too old to get Siri to work this way?

regoapps | October 5, 2018

@Finoguy Unfortunately, Apple doesn't allow the original Apple Watch to upgrade to watchOS 5, which means that Siri can only do the built-in Siri car commands from the watch:

"Unlock my car"
"Lock my car"
"Honk my car's horns"
"Flash my car's lights"
"What is my car's battery level?"
"Is my car charging?"
"Is my car locked?"

raph | October 10, 2018

Amazing app, thank you so much. I've been having a hard time with the Apple watch & Homelink - it works some of the time..

Also i can't get a clear answer - will the apple watch 4 cellular be able to Homelink without the phone (just over it's own cellular service?). This would be amazing; seems that I need to have the phone within range at the moment..

jwins | October 10, 2018

Hey, @regoapps, great work on this, particularly with the synch to the Watch and all the Shortcuts! This was one of the best $10 I've spent since getting my M3.

rmg007 | October 10, 2018

Allen, may be time to rename your app ;-)

regoapps | October 10, 2018

@raph The answer for that is that the HomeLink and Summon require an iPhone to issue the command. It might be possible that if the iPhone is reachable by internet and you are far away from it with your Apple Watch on the internet, it might still work. It might be able to remotely tell your iPhone to issue the command. I wish I could give you a more definitive answer, but I don't have a cell plan with my Apple Watch, so I can't test for this case. I just know that if the Apple Watch and my iPhone are on the same WiFi network, but I'm far away from the iPhone, it still works.

@jwins Thanks!

@rmg007 I might! Not sure what to name it though. Any ideas? | October 10, 2018

Will this app work reliably on my untethered Apple Watch series 4 on a cellular signal to open/lock the doors of my Model 3?

sterickson | October 11, 2018

@regoapps: The app works with multiple Tesla models now - so how about "Remote T"?

jcd82 | October 11, 2018

or remote S3X? hmmmm, maybe not.

shawncordell | October 11, 2018

I’m having trouble getting the Siri Shortcuts to work with my Apple Watch(i.e, open the front trunk). However, the built in commands work great on the watch.

regoapps | October 11, 2018

@borne It does work on the Apple Watch cell network, but someone using T-mobile's plan said commands were delayed up to several seconds. The app is reliable, but I find that the Apple Watch cell networks do not connect to Tesla's servers very well. Your mileage may vary depending on which network you are with, though. I don't have enough data points to tell you more. Maybe someone else with an Apple Watch cellular can chime in and tell you more.

@Sterickson That makes the most sense. I might just change it to that next.

@jcd82 Haha, or include the Semi and anticipate the Model Y and the Roadster, and just call it Semi-S3XYR. I need a more future-proof name, otherwise, I'll have to rename the app every 2 years or so.

@shawncordell It takes a while for devices to sync all the Siri commands. Sometimes it takes a few minutes, other times it takes a whole day. Make sure that all devices are signed into the same iCloud account, and then wait up to a whole day for the sync to happen. I managed to spur the sync to happen faster by setting up more siri shortcuts phrases. You could also try unpairing and re-pairing the watch. Whether it's a series 3 or series 4 doesn't matter. As long as your watch is on the newest watchOS, it should be able to use Siri shortcuts for Remote S that you set up on the iPhone. Also try phrasing the command differently as Siri can get confused sometimes for some reason if the phrase sounds like something else. Try something very unique, like a celebrity's name as a command, just to confirm that it's not because of a conflict of phrases.

shawncordell | October 11, 2018

That was it... it just needed more time to sync.

bradbomb | October 11, 2018

@regoapps I was using the app a little while back and I deleted it from my iPhone X because I found it to be the culprit of battery drain. Without the app installed, I have had next to battery drain. Is there a background setting I'm missing that would limit the polling of the car by the app?

regoapps | October 11, 2018

@shawncordell Glad you got it working. I wish Apple would fix this, since I've been getting a lot of email

@bradbomb You should turn off "Background app refresh" in the Remote S settings. This will prevent Remote S from occasionally polling the car. Other than that, it wouldn't poll the car at all if it's not running. And even if you left background app refresh on, it shouldn't poll that often. Apple predicts when you're about to use the app and runs the app refresh based on your usage of the app. So there might be another culprit to the battery drain. If you have a Tesla widget from the official app, it'll poll the car each time you look at your widgets.

Finoguy | October 12, 2018

I’m guessing this is a long shot, but any chance the app could turn on the seat heaters in a Model 3? I love being able to tell Siri to warm up my car, but the seat heater does not come on with the HVAC, even if I left it on when I exited the car…would be sweet if you could make that work.

regoapps | October 12, 2018

@Finoguy I wish I could, but the API doesn't allow for that yet. Perhaps in the future I'll be able to, and I'll be sure to put it into Siri.

errodrigues | October 13, 2018

I have Remote S on my iPhone X (iOS 12.0.1) and Apple Watch series 3 LTE (watchOS 5). I created a few Siri shortcuts using the Shortcuts app for my Model 3. They all work fine on my iPhone but never work on my Apple Watch. Siri doesn't seem to know about my shortcuts on my Watch even though Remote S is also installed on the Watch and individual Remote S Siri commands also work. Not sure what's wrong but surely disappointing :(

jwins | October 13, 2018

The shortcuts run on my Series 2 watch, though sometimes it takes a while for everything to work. I'm hoping that the Series 4 arriving soon will solve some of that delay *fingers crossed*

regoapps | October 14, 2018

@errodrigues it takes a while for the watch to sync with the Siri phrases. It’s not something I can do about it unfortunately. Apple’s iCloud controls when the phrases sync up. If it’s still not working after 24 hours, I suggest creating new and different phrases.

@jwins what kind of delay do you mean?

benichols | October 14, 2018

I have purchased and already deleted this app due to significant delays on the Apple Watch (previously series 3 and now series 4). I really want to use it to open my frunk when my hands are full but it rarely, if ever, successfully works. Usually errors out with a Siri error but even when it works it is often delayed up to a minute! Posting here just to see if there is a setting or some other problem with my options. I have reinstalled Remote S multiple times and finally just gave up.

Slumbreon | October 14, 2018

Shortcuts launched from the shortcuts app or the recorded Siri Shortcuts only work some of the time. Most of the time I get back “an unknown error has occurred” or with Siri “Sorry, there was a problem with the app”. Occasionally they work fine. Latest everything (iOS, app, 39.7 Tesla M3 firmware). Any ideas?

Slumbreon | October 14, 2018

Shortcuts launched from the shortcuts app or the recorded Siri Shortcuts only work some of the time. Most of the time I get back “an unknown error has occurred” or with Siri “Sorry, there was a problem with the app”. Occasionally they work fine. Latest everything (iOS, app, 39.7 Tesla M3 firmware). Any ideas?

Slumbreon | October 14, 2018

(Sorry for the double post, no idea what happened)

jwins | October 14, 2018

@regoapps Sometimes the shortcut actions occur with a few seconds, other times it may take up to 20 or 30 seconds. A couple times, I've just given up, pulled out my phone and used your app or the Tesla one.

regoapps | October 14, 2018

The delay problem lies in the connection rather than the app. Somewhere along the line, something is slowing down the whole thing. The app’s code will always try to do the action as fast as possible. If you watch the video I posted, it’ll show you how quick it should be doing the action:

So if it’s delayed, then one or more of these connections are slowing it down: Your watch to the phone, your watch to the internet, your phone to the internet, your device to Siri, your car to the internet, or your connection to Tesla.

You might also want to check if the car is somewhat asleep. My app is coded to attempt to wake the car before issuing the command. But if the car doesn’t wake up in time, then it’ll be delayed or fail to work. If this happens often, you might want to create a shortcut in the Shortcuts app that would run a command to “Wake up” your Tesla, then add a “Wait” command for a few seconds, and then add the command you want to do. Then tweak the “Wait” time length to fit your particular situation. If you do this, it is more likely that the command wouldn’t fail, since you’re giving your car enough time to get ready to accept the command.