Use of Apple Watch to enable Model 3

Use of Apple Watch to enable Model 3

Does anyone know if Tesla is considering the Apple Watch as another method to unlock and start the model 3? This would eliminate the need to use the iPhone to perform these functions and would be completely hands free.

PhillyGal | March 1, 2018

I think that would be very cool, though I'm not sure it's any more or less hands free than the phone since for the two functions mentioned (unlock and drive), you simply need to have the phone on you, not open the app.

Brian | March 1, 2018

I asked at the Apple store (which is conveniently located across the street from Tesla in Boston), when I briefly viewed the Model 3. They did not know anything about the car's use of Bluetooth to gain access.
It would be a great idea, because they work independently of the phone, I believe. So you couldleave your phone if you were to go joggin, or the gym. (Why would you want to do that?)

sosmerc | March 1, 2018

If Tesla was smart, they would develop their own "smartwatch" wearable "fob" ! This would be awesome and very technically doable.

SCCRENDO | March 1, 2018

There are a few aftermarket apps that work with the apple watch. I have Remote S, toolbox and Keymote. They all used to work well on my watch for my Model S. Since I have got my Model 3 They have not worked very well. But they work well on the phone. If you get it working you can do everything on the watch but do need to sign in and unlock etc from the watch

SCCRENDO | March 1, 2018

In fact just set up keymote again on my watch and it works very well

globalMan | March 1, 2018

Facial recognition based on AI should be the best solution. Use the camera near the driver's door. Just bring your face.

BuckeyeM3 | March 31, 2018

SCCRENDO, just to confirm, did you use your watch to access and drive your Model 3?

BuckeyeM3 | March 31, 2018

just to confirm, did you use your watch to access and drive your Model 3?

Wildcardtaylortesla | March 31, 2018

Awesome idea @sosmerc - I would definitely buy a Tesla smartwatch. They could probably make tiny lithium ion batteries last more than a day, too!

EVRider | March 31, 2018

@Brian: The Apple Watch isn’t really independent of the iPhone, although the cellular version of the watch lets you perform certain functions without the watch. To use just the watch, Tesla would have to support a Bluetooth connection to the watch.

cornellio | March 31, 2018

Good to know about keymote. I will use it. I like to go places without my phone.

Kj11856 | March 31, 2018

How about a subcutaneous coded RF ID tag. That would unlock the car. The future is here. Let’s take advantage of it.

israel_melendez | April 4, 2018

That would be a very nice feature, especially if you own a celular enabled watch.

SCCRENDO | April 4, 2018

My watch is first generation so needs the phone. I keep the phone in my pocket and plug it in when I get into the car. The only time I use my keycard is when I run. The watch can be used to unlock, start, open frunk and trunk, open charge port, start and stop charging, change charge limit etc. I have used Remote S in the past but it is very iffy these days. Keymote is far better

Azred50 | April 5, 2018

Bobs..., do you have a 3? After fiddling with my ridiculous iPhone 7 “key” for the past two months, please don’t give Tesla engineers any ideas re our smart watches. They would probably think it is a great idea and add yet another layer of frustration to the current stupid idea to solve the nonexistent key fob problem with a smartphone.

ANTHONYROSEJR | April 5, 2018

The watch would be a great idea. I use my watch to open my garage door. It would be great for the car.

johnyi | April 5, 2018

SCCRENDO, have you tried using your watch to lock/unlock your car while leaving your phone inside the car during your run? That would be great if it worked. I'm just thinking the watch would be within BT range of your phone as you walk up to the car. Then you wouldn't need to carry the keycard while running. This is just an idea I'm curious about, as I don't have my M3 yet to try it myself...

SCCRENDO | April 5, 2018

@johnyi. Mine is first generation so I am not sure if the wifi versions are better. But my watch pretty much communicates with phone right at the car. I should try wait outside my car and wait for my watch to connect to my phone and then unlock. The risk for me is that my watch sometimes starts to die at that time of day. I run 7 miles after work and I use my watch on my run. It often hits 10% by the time I finish my run.

meni | April 10, 2018

Would be VERY handy. For example if I'm able to just leave my phone hidden my M3 while I wear my Apple Watch series 3 to the beach to surf, that would be pretty amazing.

EVRider | April 10, 2018

Apps like Remote S that can run on the Apple Watch can only unlock the car if both the car and the phone have internet access, so you can’t depend on it. This isn’t the same as using the phone as a key, which only needs a Bluetooth connection once you’ve set up the phone.

If you don’t want to use the phone, and you’re parking somewhere where the internet connection is questionable, bring your key card with you.

SCCRENDO | April 10, 2018

@EVRider is correct. Your watch should work but if you lose your internet connection you are up the wazoo. The Apple 3 watch I believe has wifi so you should not need your phone. I have the Apple Watch 1 but I think I will upgrade to the 4 when it comes out

Sjsato | April 10, 2018

I have an Apple 3 watch which can utilize a cellular connection independent from your phone. When I go for a run I turn my phone to airplane mode and lock it in the car. I downloaded 2 apps for the watch, Remote S and Key for Tesla. Remote S has a few more features. Key for Tesla just locks and unlocks the car. How do they work? I find I have to press the unlock a number of times before the car finally unlocks. This happens with both apps. I am not totally confident in their reliability but they do seem to work....eventually. Not sure if I would trust them in a do or die situation. I imagine they will improve and be more feature rich with time.

EVRider | April 10, 2018

The Tesla-related iPhone apps that you can access from an Apple Watch reside on the phone, and are just controlled from the watch via Bluetooth. If the phone doesn’t have internet access, because of a weak cell signal, it won’t matter if your watch has WiFi or cellular service, because the phone requires internet access to unlock the car (when it’s inside a locked car). You should always have the key card as backup.

EVRider | April 10, 2018

I should add that Tesla could create an Apple Watch app that would allow the watch to be used as a key via Bluetooth, without the phone, but none of the existing apps work this way.

SCCRENDO | April 11, 2018

@EVrider. I have the version 1 not the 3 of the watch so I am speculating. The 3 has it’s own connection so Keymote and Remote S should work on the Apple Watch 3 without the phone. I find Remote S to be very spotty and Keymote on the watch is far better.

EVRider | April 11, 2018

@SCCRENDO: I’m not familiar with Keymote, but I have Remote S on My Apple Watch 3 and I don’t believe it can work without the phone. Most of the watch apps (not all) work by interacting with the corresponding phone apps, via Bluetooth. For example, there’s no way to log in to Remote S on my watch, so the watch app can’t authenticate will the Tesla servers without the phone. WiFi and cellular connectivity on the watch give you access to certain features that don’t require the phone, but not to the phone apps themselves.

sosmerc | April 11, 2018

But Tesla certainly could develop a FOB that is attractive and designed to also function as a watch that could have many useful functions such as current smartwatches. (and it would work completely independent from your phone and it would not be dependent upon a WIFI could be a standalone bluetooth device)

aid000 | April 11, 2018

I do have Apple Watch and I do not need it to open my M3... Most likely, you do carry your phone with you... and if you have Apple Watch, it is very likely that you have iPhone as well... so just walk to your car with your phone in your pocket and it will open automatically.... you walk away from your car and it will close automatically as well... no need for extra setup on the watch.

PS: M3 is the best car ever - love it.

EVRider | April 11, 2018

@aid000: If you read the previous comments, some people are looking for a way to lock the phone in their car when they go the beach, for a run, etc., and just use the watch to unlock the car. Today that will only work if the car has enough cell reception to access the internet, so you need to have the key card as a backup.

jerry.fioramonti | April 11, 2018

I think the REAL solution here would be for Tesla to develop a watch app that could function independent of the phone. There would be a number of hurdles to overcome (such as authentication for Apple Watches without LTE) but would be such an awesome, seamless experience to be able to ditch the phone and use the watch as the only necessary device.

SCCRENDO | April 11, 2018

@evrider. We need the input of people with Apple watch 3 as this has independent cellular. My version 1 and also 2 do not have it. My Remote S on my watch is spotty even with my phone present. Keymote is more reliable

mchoi605 | April 11, 2018

I have an Apple Watch Series 3 and agree that having a way to use the Apple Watch alone as a bluetooth-enabled key instead of having your phone on you would be a major plus in situations where you don't want to carry your phone or key card with you (ie, after a run/race, swim etc). Tesla engineers- ATTACK!

meni | April 11, 2018

I’m not an engineer, but from what little I understand about Bluetooth, there should be no reason why any Apple Watch, cellular or not, can’t be used to unlock a car. Maybe it’s a restriction placed by Apple.

EVRider | April 12, 2018

@SCCRENDO: I don’t have the cellular option on my Apple Watch 3, but I do have the owner’s manual, and I know that the cellular option doesn’t help in this scenario. Only the phone app can remotely unlock the car, and only if the phone app has internet access. As mentioned earlier, Tesla could fix this by creating an app for the watch that would allow it to unlock the car via Bluetooth.

sosmerc | April 12, 2018

I keep getting "hung up" on the idea that the car HAS to have an internet connection to run. Or am I confused?

willtung8 | April 12, 2018

I also wouldn't mind if the car could use the NFC in the phone or the watch as an 'offline' backup option. The keycard uses NFC right?

EVRider | April 12, 2018

@sosmerc: The car does not require an internet connection to run. The mobile app on the phone requires an internet connection to communicate with the Tesla servers in order to remotely unlock the car; this is different from using the phone as a key via Bluetooth, which does not require an internet connection.

@willtung8: Tesla could make NFC work too, if the watch's NFC is compatible with Model 3, but making Bluetooth work would be more practical since you don't have to hold your watch next to the reader.

sosmerc | April 12, 2018

Thanks @ EVRider. So this means if I stop and park my Model 3 in a location that does not have WIFI or a DATA signal I can still lock and unlock my car with the keycard and still drive away without issue? (the keycard being the ONLY way this can be done in this situation?)

willtung8 | April 12, 2018

@sosmerc No, the phone key does not require internet connection, just requires bluetooth to be enabled. So if you were in an area with no wifi/data, you can still use your phone key to unlock when you're nearby. You can also use the keycard if you want. What you can't do is remotely unlock via the app (when you're not in vicinity.)

sosmerc | April 12, 2018

Thanks willtung8 for that clarification.

EVRider | April 12, 2018

That’s correct, the phone doesn’t require internet access when it’s used as a key, because it uses Bluetooth in that case.

What some people wanted to do is lock their phone in the car and use their Apple Watch to unlock the car, but that will only work if both the phone and the car have internet access. For that situation, you need to have your key card with you.

johnyi | April 12, 2018

But this is all software, so there's a possibility Tesla could enable using your smart watch to unlock (and start!) the car via bluetooth directly, with no phone involved. That would be super cool! I can already use my iWatch 2 to pay for stuff via Apple Pay, and track myself with GPS, and the iWatch 3 can also make phone calls and receive texts. They are becoming more and more phone substitutes rather than just accessories.

sosmerc | April 12, 2018

@johnyi......well said. Any watch that is bluetooth compatible should be able to use a Tesla app to work with your car. But wouldn't it be cool if Tesla did their own unique watch design that would work seamlessly with your Tesla? :)......

sosmerc | April 12, 2018

Call it the Teswatchamafob ! ):.......

ken.simon | May 10, 2018

This was a really helpful thread, i posted a new thread but wanted to add my 2 cents here:

Disclaimer: You could get locked out if your phone or the car loses cell signal. I’m using this method for occasional times when I don’t want my phone with me (swimming, running, etc.).

Using the Toolbox App via Apple Watch ($4.99), it’s easy to use the watch only (phone needs to be inside car though). The trick is that you will need to log out of the Tesla App in order to disable the Phone as Key Mode (would be nice if tesla made a toggle on/off for this instead).

Also, the phone will need to have power (leave it plugged in), and most important it will need cell signal.

jwitkin | May 10, 2018

I just got in my Model 3 with my iPhone and Apple Watch, then put the phone into airplane mode, turned BT back on on the watch, and tried to add the watch as a key. The car definitely did not find the watch. Aside from using Bluetooth LE for the key connection, I think there is some complex security in phone app-to-car key connection. As others have noted, the phone shows four BT devices with funny names connected - this is probably some complex encoding by the app. Still, I imagine that theoretically, with the right software, the watch could independently be a key. That would be good.

EVRider | May 11, 2018

To make the Apple Watch function as a Bluetooth key without the phone, Tesla would need to provide a watch version of their mobile app. Any other solution will require an internet connection for the car.

alphacompton | May 11, 2018

I'm mostly an android user with some Apple Electronics but I'd wear an Apple Watch if it works as a bluetooth keyfob. My current Android smartwatch(Huawei watch 1) is beautiful with very long battery life(1-2 days) but not only is it not getting updated to the new WearOS , most app developers seem to avoid the platform.

joshuatbrown | July 16, 2018

I’d love to have Apple Watch unlock the Model 3 via Bluetooth. That would be awesome.

neil.weinstock | July 16, 2018

Yes please.