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Android Tesla app alternative

Discussion in 'Model S' started by unbelievable, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. unbelievable

    unbelievable Member

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    Location:
    London
    I need to park in my garage to charge and it's very tight, so I have to summon my car in and out, sometimes every day. I've had a lot of problems with the Tesla app either refusing to connect to the car, connecting to the car but then summon not connecting with a 'Reconnect' button appearing, starting to summon and then stopping mid way through then refusing to reconnect, a 'Server error' message, and variations of the above.

    It was really starting to get me down. In the five months I've owned the car, just in order to actually get the car out of the garage I've had to get in the passenger side and climb over to the drivers seat about 15 times. I've also had to climb in through the trunk three times and in through the drivers window once.

    I honestly don't know where the problem is. At first I suspected the car, then my internet connection (the garage is just on the cusp of where my WiFi extends and mobile data is patchy here) so I bought a WiFi extender, I even tried my old iPhone a couple of times but that worked inconsistently as well.

    I'm very happy to report that an alternative to the official Android Tesla app called 'Dashboard for Tesla' was recommended to me. The UI is pretty basic but the functionality blows the Tesla app out of the water. And it summons, every time.

    Sorry for the long post but posting just in case it saves someone else out there from the misery I've had to endure. For completeness, I have a Pixel 2 set to always update the Tesla app to the latest version and this has happened on all three software versions I have had since getting the car.
     
  2. BIG ACH

    BIG ACH Member

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    Location:
    Orlando, Fl
    Pixel XL user here so high five :)

    I use Dashboard for Tesla mainly for the Google Wear smartwatch integration.... cause I like to show off doing stuff to my car with the watch :) - also the 0-60 tracker is nice.

    But the standard Tesla app has been good to me for the most part.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. phaphaphooey

    phaphaphooey Member

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    USA
    Odd. The Android app has been flawless for me as well.
     
  4. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Vendor

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    I use Android and Dashboard for Tesla daily, using Summon daily without issues. That said, I guess the app is not at fault... Both app and the car need to have an Internet connection. If your wifi is weak, maybe better to strengthen your 3G or 4G signal, because when you are about to park the car, it's on LTE network and just detecting your home / garage wifi, which might cause issues. If you succeed strengthening your LTE, then try putting your phone and the car on the LTE and forget about wifi.

    Hope this helps.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. unbelievable

    unbelievable Member

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    Thanks for this, I thought that signal strength to car/phone might be something to do with it. I am confused as to how I can improve my LTE though without spending money on more hardware.

    I am going to do more testing and report back. And by testing, I mean try random things until I can get consistently repeatable behaviour from my car and phone which I have been unable to get so far. :) I find it very strange that changing app can make a difference though, the difference is like night and day. I should probably thank @David99 here for recommending it to me in another thread.

    Speaking of other threads (and this may be illegal so apologies to the Mods) but @forkee mentioned the following in another thread:

    summon works half the time right off the bat. never need to actually use it, but when i do (usually just to show off "summon") it conveniently never works, making me look like an idiot. it just says "connecting to vehicle" even though every other feature works like honk, open trunks, etc.
    This is is the same behaviour I get a lot of the time. In an effort to narrow the problem down, @forkee do you know if you are in low signal areas when this happens? Presumably, when the signal is low the software will allow you to flash lights etc. but not summon as it is so safety critical?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    @unbelievable , try disconnecting wifi (forget the network completely) to force the car onto LTE. With the garage open, hopefully you will get coverage. If that fixes your problem, you know you're having a wifi issue. There are a few threads here on TMC on Tesla having issues staying connected to WiFi while having nothing to do with the signal strength. I've had issues with my car connecting and disconnecting constantly even though it was but 6 feet away from an access point in the garage and showing full strength signal (yea, I put an AP in the garage for our cars to use, because Tesla WiFi, especially the old MCU, really sucks). So, eliminate the WiFi issue by using LTE. If that works, then dig into why your car won't stay connected to your WiFi (spoiler alert, it may have something to do with other DNLA devices you have on your network at the same time, the solution may be not a WiFi extender, but a router that creates a separate network for the Tesla).

    wifi connection issues
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. BigCity

    BigCity Member

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    Location:
    Avon, IN
    In a pinch just use the key fob, I've had issues described above and just pulled my key and used that to summon instead. It's actually quicker and easier than bringing up the app, logging in, getting to summon, etc. Not as cool of course, but has never let me down compared to the app at times.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. unbelievable

    unbelievable Member

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    Thanks for the help. I may get round to doing that if I face further problems but so far I have found an app that works every time, even thought the official app doesnt.
     
  9. unbelievable

    unbelievable Member

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    Unfortunately, that functionality hasn't been enabled where I am (in the UK).
     
  10. forkee

    forkee Member

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    Southern California
    not sure but i will def try out that other app and disconnect car from wifi to see if it helps also. i understand for the sake of safety it'll auto stop, but i can't figure out why it won't connect to the app or lose connection or have flaky response in the exact same situation minutes before when it was working perfectly
     
  11. Jan Fiala

    Jan Fiala Member

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    Location:
    Prague
    The problem is quite common. I arrive home, get out from the car in front of the garage, initiate summon and during summon the car jumps from lte to home wifi, causing the summon to fail...

    Either extend your wifi coverage, so that the car can detect and jump to it already when approaching the house or disable the wifi in the car.

    P.S. Take note, that the phone does exactly the same, so you'll usually get two failed summon attempts...
     
  12. whitex

    whitex Active Member

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    This is compounded when the car can't stay connected to wifi for more then 5-10 seconds at a time, which is what sometimes happens when there are some devices it doesn't like on the same network - the car keeps going in a loop, connect to wifi, restart wifi stack (which connects to LTE), scan for wifi, connect to wifi, repeat...
     
  13. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Vendor

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    The only thing you can rely on with weak signals is LTE network. Extending wifi will make weak wifi network a little bit stronger, but it's still wifi and unstable outside. LTE is designed to withstand weak signals and significant surrounding noise. The best way is to put both on LTE. Ask the cellular operator of your Tesla (I think it is AT&T in the US) and complain that you have weak signal and ask for any range extending devices, or recommendation.
    AT&T MicroCell Wireless Network Extender
    The device is typically called Femtocell or Microcell. This is an operator equipment so you have to ask them to install, and the device is subject to applicable law (FCC in the US); i.e. you can't just turn off or move the device.
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. BigTonyTones

    BigTonyTones Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Another win for Dashboard for Tesla. Great app and I paid for all the upgrades. The android widget is just awesome and I use it daily
     
  15. Need

    Need Active Member

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    I have never heard of this Dashboard for Tesla app. May have to try it out. I wonder how does it work on Summon when Tesla app fails. You would think that if one app fails, both app would fail. BTW, my wife uses her keyfob to summon our X out every morning. I thought that would use up the keyfob battery fast, but after 8 months, it still works fine and haven't replaced battery yet. Too bad they disabled that function in UK.
     
    • Like x 2

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