Phone Key Review

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K-MTG

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#1

I created a video showcasing a quick overview of Phone Key but here are my thoughts:

Phone: iPhone 7 Plus (iOS 11)

Pros:
  • Works 99% of the time.
  • Tesla App doesn't have to be open (or even running in the background)
  • Battery Life Remains the Same
  • Works when phone and/or car lacks cellphone coverage
  • Multiple Driver Support (Multiple Phones)
Cons:
  • If you have multiple Tesla's, the Model 3 has to be selected when you exit the app.
  • At home, my phone comes in and out of range constantly waking up the car...resulting in the car to make strange sounds.

Feature Request:
  • Ability to disable Phone-Key in certain locations (i.e at home) so the car doesn't constantly wake up.
  • Ability to automatically select driver's profile based on the phone-key detected.
  • Eliminate the issue of having to select the Model 3 when exiting the Tesla App (if one owns multiple Tesla's).
 

skygraff

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#2
Interesting points.

Your experience has been different thsn other reports regarding the app status. I'm wondering if you might be able to test something else which has been mentioned but doesn't appear in either of the manual versions I've seen so far (if I recall correctly):

Will the car recognize the phone key if the phone's location services are turned off?

I usually leave mine off and wish they'd put a switch in the control panel (since it's always recommended as a battery saving solution) but, then again, they've made the control panel switches less useful in 11 with regard to the antenna behaviors so it's unlikely they'd make a legitimate switch even if they did.

As for the Bluetooth connecting while your in the house, maybe they'll do a geofence option in the car's UI (like home link) rather than rely on the iOS/android APIs. It's a good suggestion.

Thanks!
 

3V Pilot

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#3
Just a quick question, I've been wondering if the car is always unlocked by the time you get to the door or do you ever have to wait for the car to "see" the phone? If you were to run up to the car and attempt to open the door as quickly as possible would it be unlocked in time? Like if it was raining out and you wanted to get in quickly.
 

K-MTG

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#4
Just a quick question, I've been wondering if the car is always unlocked by the time you get to the door or do you ever have to wait for the car to "see" the phone? If you were to run up to the car and attempt to open the door as quickly as possible would it be unlocked in time? Like if it was raining out and you wanted to get in quickly.
There is a walk-up unlock setting that I initially had on...so the headlights turn on and the mirrors unfold when you approach the car. But I turned that off...since my car kept on waking up in the garage (as my phone was close by). Now the mirrors and headlights only turn on when I pull on the handles.

I hear the car click indicating it has woken up when I approach my phone and thus I don't have any delay opening the door...it is instant.
 

K-MTG

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#5
Interesting points.

Your experience has been different thsn other reports regarding the app status. I'm wondering if you might be able to test something else which has been mentioned but doesn't appear in either of the manual versions I've seen so far (if I recall correctly):

Will the car recognize the phone key if the phone's location services are turned off?

I usually leave mine off and wish they'd put a switch in the control panel (since it's always recommended as a battery saving solution) but, then again, they've made the control panel switches less useful in 11 with regard to the antenna behaviors so it's unlikely they'd make a legitimate switch even if they did.

As for the Bluetooth connecting while your in the house, maybe they'll do a geofence option in the car's UI (like home link) rather than rely on the iOS/android APIs. It's a good suggestion.

Thanks!
You need to keep location services on...or else the app won't stay awake.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#6

I created a video showcasing a quick overview of Phone Key but here are my thoughts:

Phone: iPhone 7 Plus (iOS 11)

Pros:



    • Works 99% of the time.
    • Tesla App doesn't have to be open (or even running in the background)
    • Battery Life Remains the Same
    • Works when phone and/or car lacks cellphone coverage
    • Multiple Driver Support (Multiple Phones)
Cons:



    • If you have multiple Tesla's, the Model 3 has to be selected when you exit the app.
    • At home, my phone comes in and out of range constantly waking up the car...resulting in the car to make strange sounds.
Feature Request:



    • Ability to disable Phone-Key in certain locations (i.e at home) so the car doesn't constantly wake up.
    • Ability to automatically select driver's profile based on the phone-key detected.
    • Eliminate the issue of having to select the Model 3 when exiting the Tesla App (if one owns multiple Tesla's).
Thank you for posting. I want to test many different scenarios to ensure confidence out on the road.

This is very helpful, it looks like you’ve confirmed 2 of my scenarios that i was worried about. Tesla app is hard closed, not open and running in background and no/poor service.

What happens if you log out of the Tesla app?
 
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#7
I imagine the "proximity" issue is the same but are these scenarios all with iPhones? Curious how the "app awake" feature behaves with Android. Hopefully I can test in a few weeks. Could they not configure a feature to where we could set the proximity distance for activation. Like, only let the phone unlock the car when within 5, 10 or 15 feet?
 

skygraff

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#8
You need to keep location services on...or else the app won't stay awake.
Okay...(?) But the app can be hard closed?

When you say the "app won't stay awake," is that something it tells you and you're quoting or is that a phrase from some other source (your own turn of phrase)?

Have you tested it with location off but app open and/or app in background with or without the phone awake? Any scenario which doesn't require 5-6 motions just to turn on location would still be better in my book (other than leaving it on). I understand if you don't have time or the inclination to test it in so many different ways and will wait and see for myself.

Thanks!
 
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#9
Okay...(?) But the app can be hard closed?

When you say the "app won't stay awake," is that something it tells you and you're quoting or is that a phrase from some other source (your own turn of phrase)?

Have you tested it with location off but app open and/or app in background with or without the phone awake? Any scenario which doesn't require 5-6 motions just to turn on location would still be better in my book (other than leaving it on). I understand if you don't have time or the inclination to test it in so many different ways and will wait and see for myself.

Thanks!
This is why I'm wondering about the experience with Android phones since apps can constantly run in the background.
 

K-MTG

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#10
Thank you for posting. I want to test many different scenarios to ensure confidence out on the road.

This is very helpful, it looks like you’ve confirmed 2 of my scenarios that i was worried about. Tesla app is hard closed, not open and running in background and no/poor service.

What happens if you log out of the Tesla app?
Okay...(?) But the app can be hard closed?

When you say the "app won't stay awake," is that something it tells you and you're quoting or is that a phrase from some other source (your own turn of phrase)?

Have you tested it with location off but app open and/or app in background with or without the phone awake? Any scenario which doesn't require 5-6 motions just to turn on location would still be better in my book (other than leaving it on). I understand if you don't have time or the inclination to test it in so many different ways and will wait and see for myself.

Thanks!
You can hard close the Tesla App and it will work fine. You need to keep location services to always and keep Bluetooth on in order for phone-key to work. But battery usage is very minimal...only 1% according to the battery usage on my phone.

I tried without location services enabled but reliability is very poor...
 

John

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#11
Turning Bluetooth on and off is pretty easy on the iPhone Control Center. Requires pulling your phone out when you're coming and going from home, but would provide walk up unlock everywhere else. Guess it depends if you use BT at home...
 

Ken Voss

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#12
So here is a question that I have not seen addressed. Assume that two people regularly drive the car, each have a unique profile set up (seat adjustment etc.) and they approach the car at the same time to go for a ride. In this case what driver profile is recognized?
 

John

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#13
So here is a question that I have not seen addressed. Assume that two people regularly drive the car, each have a unique profile set up (seat adjustment etc.) and they approach the car at the same time to go for a ride. In this case what driver profile is recognized?
Someone answered this once, and said whichever the car picks up first. Once in the car, tap the top info area and change profiles. If I remember correctly.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#14
You can hard close the Tesla App and it will work fine. You need to keep location services to always and keep Bluetooth on in order for phone-key to work. But battery usage is very minimal...only 1% according to the battery usage on my phone.

I tried without location services enabled but reliability is very poor...
That’s great news, thanks for confirming. I have BT always on between BT audio in the car, Apple Watch, and AirPods so that’s a no brainer and battery drain is minimal.

So here is a question that I have not seen addressed. Assume that two people regularly drive the car, each have a unique profile set up (seat adjustment etc.) and they approach the car at the same time to go for a ride. In this case what driver profile is recognized?
Someone answered this once, and said whichever the car picks up first. Once in the car, tap the top info area and change profiles. If I remember correctly.
If I recall correctly that’s actually not true. It’s just the last/default profile regardless of which phone opened the car. Could be wrong...
 
Last edited:

K-MTG

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#15
That’s great news, thanks for confirming. I have BT always in between BT audio in the car, Apple Watch, and AirPods so that’s a no brainer and battery drain is minimal.





If I recall correctly that’s actually not true. It’s just the last/default profile regardless of which phone opened the car. Could be wrong...
I can confirm it is is the last deafult profile. This is one of my requested features
 

rxlawdude

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#16
Just to clarify, a "connection status" of "connected" on the App does NOT mean the car unlocks. For example, from about 30 feet away the app is "connected" to the car, but if I leave the phone at that distance the car remains secured.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#17
Just to clarify, a "connection status" of "connected" on the App does NOT mean the car unlocks. For example, from about 30 feet away the app is "connected" to the car, but if I leave the phone at that distance the car remains secured.
That’s correct — unless you tap “unlock” on the app :)
 

K-MTG

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#18
Just to clarify, a "connection status" of "connected" on the App does NOT mean the car unlocks. For example, from about 30 feet away the app is "connected" to the car, but if I leave the phone at that distance the car remains secured.
Correct, the app shows connected when you are within Bluetooth range (about 50 ft) but the doors unlock when you are within a foot away from the car.

But the problem is that even if the car doesn’t unlock...it will continuously wake up when you are about 50’ft away
 

Ken Voss

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#19
If I recall correctly that’s actually not true. It’s just the last/default profile regardless of which phone opened the car. Could be wrong...
OK, I completely misunderstood, I thought each driver was associated with a profile that would be detected by the users phone the same way that every other car supporting user profiles detects multiple key fobs and selects the driver based on unlocking the door with their fob
 

SoFlaModel3

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#20
OK, I completely misunderstood, I thought each driver was associated with a profile that would be detected by the users phone the same way that every other car supporting user profiles detects multiple key fobs and selects the driver based on unlocking the door with their fob
@K-MTG confirmed my understanding (see below).

I can confirm it is is the last deafult profile. This is one of my requested features