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Charge My Tesla Android App - Looking for Beta testers

meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
114
73
Berkshire
I’ve written my own Android App, as scheduled charging doesn’t fit with my departure times. I tend to use “once”.

Also with EDF Go Electric and a 13A plug, off peak times don’t fit with Tesla’s view of the world which seems to be start time to 6am.

I know about TeslaFi but I don’t want all the monitoring and it’s expensive. Also Dashboard for Tesla, again expensive when I just want scheduled charging and/or pre-conditioning.

My other reservation is the security of the Tesla login token. In my App I don’t keep the email/password, but an encrypted version of the token with biometric login. This security is important, as with a token you can do anything to the car, at least for up to 45 days, so I don’t want this on third party websites with the risk of security breaches.

Of course this means that your Android phone needs to be powered on all the time and not in airplane mode when you have scheduled start/stop times.

Here are some screenshots and a video.

I’m considering adding it to my Play Store Apps, but only if people think it’s useful, so I’m looking for Beta testers to give feedback on the implementation with enhancement or changes.

At the moment I’m using Firebase App Distribution for the free Beta, but could do a closed Beta on the Play Store if there is a demand for this.

Of course if no one is interested, then it’s an App for me… however send me a message with your Android device Gmail if you want to try it out.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,688
UK
Sounds useful for those people (like me) that don't want loads of functionality and monitoring, but would like some control over charging (and, in my case, non-timed preconditioning, perhaps).

I have an old Android tablet (Sony Xperia), that's wifi only. Might be a dumb question, but we can't get a mobile signal here, so the car would have to connect via wifi, so would this work with just a wifi connection to the car?

If so, I might dig out my old Sony tablet and give it a go, although my M3 doesn't arrive until next Friday.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,893
Suffolk, UK
I know about TeslaFi but I don’t want all the monitoring and it’s expensive

I think TeslaFi scheduler leaves a lot to be desired ...

What I want is a schedule (perhaps several) comprising a series of tasks

For example:

Assuming the tasks repeats every minute, for max 5 minutes until success (as TeslaFi does), then in some way allow a sequential group of tasks to be dependent on success of predecessor

-60mins
Wake car
Change LIMIT to 100%
Start charge

-15mins
Optionally set Cabin Temperature (e.g. to HI)
Start HVAC

0mins ... intended departure time

+15mins
Turn HVAC off (in case I don't actually depart!)

At some suitable point change LIMIT from 100% back to 90%

Also needs the ability to override schedules. For example I have charging start at Midnight (E7) and stop at 7AM (if car not fully charged it can complete the charging the following night)

But if I activate the above schedule for, e.g. 07:30 departure it will start charging at 06:30 and the "E7 schedule" will then stop the charge at 7AM :( so I (currently) have to remember to disable it.

Even just getting a warning that there is a conflict would help:

Charging start requested
Is car charging? NO? Send an alert
Is car charging slower than expected? LOG as issue and/or send ALERT

and so on
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,266
2,431
Scotland
I’ve written my own Android App, as scheduled charging doesn’t fit with my departure times.

Great project. You will get plenty of takers I'm sure. My own phone is partly dysfunctional*, old and on its limit for storing/running new apps so not a good candidate for testing but I would be interested to give your app a go when it's optimised and ready for release into the wild!

*It used to be my wife's... she had dropped it down the toilet (clean water) but I did get it running again after a complete strip down (the phone not me, or my wife).
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,428
2,171
Shropshire
I’ve written my own Android App, as scheduled charging doesn’t fit with my departure times. I tend to use “once”.

Also with EDF Go Electric and a 13A plug, off peak times don’t fit with Tesla’s view of the world which seems to be start time to 6am.

I know about TeslaFi but I don’t want all the monitoring and it’s expensive. Also Dashboard for Tesla, again expensive when I just want scheduled charging and/or pre-conditioning.

My other reservation is the security of the Tesla login token. In my App I don’t keep the email/password, but an encrypted version of the token with biometric login. This security is important, as with a token you can do anything to the car, at least for up to 45 days, so I don’t want this on third party websites with the risk of security breaches.

Of course this means that your Android phone needs to be powered on all the time and not in airplane mode when you have scheduled start/stop times.

Here are some screenshots and a video.

I’m considering adding it to my Play Store Apps, but only if people think it’s useful, so I’m looking for Beta testers to give feedback on the implementation with enhancement or changes.

At the moment I’m using Firebase App Distribution for the free Beta, but could do a closed Beta on the Play Store if there is a demand for this.

Of course if no one is interested, then it’s an App for me… however send me a message with your Android device Gmail if you want to try it out.
Not got a car yet so can't help with the beta testing but I'm working on something similar, for myself only really, To avoid the issue of it not working if your phone is off. I built mine using an AWS Api gateway / lambda /dynamo DB backend. So the front end, just a web site at present, just sends the schedule info to AWS lambda which stores it and then actions it at the appropriate time so as long as the car is online its totally resilient. Also means the Tesla account details are never exposed. obviously if you are putting it out there its tricker since you would need to host the details and schedules of everyone using it which you probably don't want to do, and they would not want that either but if you are doing it for yourself or fully commercially its an interesting solution.
 

meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
114
73
Berkshire
Not got a car yet so can't help with the beta testing but I'm working on something similar, for myself only really, To avoid the issue of it not working if your phone is off. I built mine using an AWS Api gateway / lambda /dynamo DB backend. So the front end, just a web site at present, just sends the schedule info to AWS lambda which stores it and then actions it at the appropriate time so as long as the car is online its totally resilient. Also means the Tesla account details are never exposed. obviously if you are putting it out there its tricker since you would need to host the details and schedules of everyone using it which you probably don't want to do, and they would not want that either but if you are doing it for yourself or fully commercially its an interesting solution.
I contemplated Google App Engine, as I've used this for other apps, but I don't want to get into the security risk of keeping people's tokens secure, given I am really an App dev, not server, so server side security would be too big of a risk.
 

meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
114
73
Berkshire
I think TeslaFi scheduler leaves a lot to be desired ...

What I want is a schedule (perhaps several) comprising a series of tasks

For example:

Assuming the tasks repeats every minute, for max 5 minutes until success (as TeslaFi does), then in some way allow a sequential group of tasks to be dependent on success of predecessor

-60mins
Wake car
Change LIMIT to 100%
Start charge

-15mins
Optionally set Cabin Temperature (e.g. to HI)
Start HVAC

0mins ... intended departure time

+15mins
Turn HVAC off (in case I don't actually depart!)

At some suitable point change LIMIT from 100% back to 90%

Also needs the ability to override schedules. For example I have charging start at Midnight (E7) and stop at 7AM (if car not fully charged it can complete the charging the following night)

But if I activate the above schedule for, e.g. 07:30 departure it will start charging at 06:30 and the "E7 schedule" will then stop the charge at 7AM :( so I (currently) have to remember to disable it.

Even just getting a warning that there is a conflict would help:

Charging start requested
Is car charging? NO? Send an alert
Is car charging slower than expected? LOG as issue and/or send ALERT

and so on
At the moment I'm just logging success/failures and showing them in the log activity, but I guess it could do an alert. Not sure I want to be woken up, so it would have to be optional ;)
You can have as many schedules as you like, so the charge one can be different to HVAC, although it's easy to add an extra switch to enable charge. I was assuming that because you can set a limit, then it would be ignored for an HVAC enabled schedule and only charge if it was really needed.
The schedule ends will turn off the charge and HVAC.
My use case is that I go down to Devon and then it will take multiple days to charge on EDF cheap rate with the 13A plug during the week, but I can have it charging all day Sat/Sun.
 

meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
114
73
Berkshire
Sounds useful for those people (like me) that don't want loads of functionality and monitoring, but would like some control over charging (and, in my case, non-timed preconditioning, perhaps).

I have an old Android tablet (Sony Xperia), that's wifi only. Might be a dumb question, but we can't get a mobile signal here, so the car would have to connect via wifi, so would this work with just a wifi connection to the car?

If so, I might dig out my old Sony tablet and give it a go, although my M3 doesn't arrive until next Friday.
The app can be WiFi or mobile data, but it's only going to work if the car has a network connection as well as your phone/tablet.
I have a PowerLine Wifi extender in the garage on Dartmoor, as the mobile signal is really bad, so the car connects to that over Wifi then PowerLine to the house network. My phone connects to the home network over wifi, but all controls are sent via the Tesla API which means you need internet, not a direct network connection to the car.
Actually the house is a 4G internet router with an external antenna, as the BT phone line is so noisy it can get at best a 2Mbps ADSL connection... Dartmoor not mobile or ADSL friendly but an antenna on a chimney works ;)
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,266
2,431
Scotland
The app can be WiFi or mobile data, but it's only going to work if the car has a network connection as well as your phone/tablet.
I have a PowerLine Wifi extender in the garage on Dartmoor, as the mobile signal is really bad, so the car connects to that over Wifi then PowerLine to the house network. My phone connects to the home network over wifi, but all controls are sent via the Tesla API which means you need internet, not a direct network connection to the car.
Actually the house is a 4G internet router with an external antenna, as the BT phone line is so noisy it can get at best a 2Mbps ADSL connection... Dartmoor not mobile or ADSL friendly but an antenna on a chimney works ;)

Your garage connection, Wifi and 4G internet arrangements all appear to be identical to ours ... and for the same reasons! Dartmoor and the Scottish Borders seem to have a few things in common beyond just hills and heather!
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,688
UK
The app can be WiFi or mobile data, but it's only going to work if the car has a network connection as well as your phone/tablet.
I have a PowerLine Wifi extender in the garage on Dartmoor, as the mobile signal is really bad, so the car connects to that over Wifi then PowerLine to the house network. My phone connects to the home network over wifi, but all controls are sent via the Tesla API which means you need internet, not a direct network connection to the car.
Actually the house is a 4G internet router with an external antenna, as the BT phone line is so noisy it can get at best a 2Mbps ADSL connection... Dartmoor not mobile or ADSL friendly but an antenna on a chimney works ;)

Thanks, that's very helpful in several ways, as it's nice to know that it can work OK with a wifi connection. I have a directional external mobile 'phone antenna (illicitly) mounted on a pole above the back of my house, as one of my attempts to try and get a mobile signal here, even invested in some expensive low loss cable to connect it up, but still no joy. I need to take it down sometime, before the conservation area police spot it and report me for installing an external antenna without planning consent...

Happy to be a beta tester for your app, after I get the car next Friday. Just dug the tablet out and it seem to be OK, it's running an older version of Android, though, Lollipop, I think.
 
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David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
I like the idea. I have Dashboard for Tesla and love it. I know you mentioned it's too expensive. I actually don't remember the pricing, but it's per feature so if all you want is the smart charging features, it's really a trivial amount. It works really well and has many useful options that help with off peak electricity rates and so on.

I went through the entire beta phase with the developer and it's been quite the journey. There are so many things you run into you never thought about. For example you can't just check the state of charge and then set a specific time to stare the charge. The conditions between check the status of the battery and when charging starts can change. The battery can cool down and not accept the charge rate, throwing your timing off. There are so many possible scenarios and specific user needs.

One other fundamental issue with this method is that is relies on a working and constant internet connection. There are many links in the chain that can break. You phone running out of juice over night, you WiFi router having an issue...
 
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meavydev

Member
Jun 19, 2019
114
73
Berkshire
I like the idea. I have Dashboard for Tesla and love it. I know you mentioned it's too expensive. I actually don't remember the pricing, but it's per feature so if all you want is the smart charging features, it's really a trivial amount. It works really well and has many useful options that help with off peak electricity rates and so on.

I went through the entire beta phase with the developer and it's been quite the journey. There are so many things you run into you never thought about. For example you can't just check the state of charge and then set a specific time to stare the charge. The conditions between check the status of the battery and when charging starts can change. The battery can cool down and not accept the charge rate, throwing your timing off. There are so many possible scenarios and specific user needs.

One other fundamental issue with this method is that is relies on a working and constant internet connection. There are many links in the chain that can break. You phone running out of juice over night, you WiFi router having an issue...
I guess my idea of too expensive is $5 month which is what it seemed to be as $15 didn't give access to charging. Although $15 is expensive for an Android app... as people kept telling me $5 was too much for my other apps ;)
I'm not trying to work out when to start to get to the charge limit. I just want it to be charging during cheap rate...and stop when it ends regardless.
Perhaps I should make it clearer that the charge limit doesn't override the stop time.
I appreciate the phone limitations, but then as I put the phone on charge over night, then it's not a big deal for me, plus most of the time I will not be doing big charges, just using it to pre-condition at a time.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,893
Suffolk, UK
Perhaps I should make it clearer that the charge limit doesn't override the stop time.

IME that needs an override for when you want e.g. a 100% charge on departure, and when that is an hour or so after end of Off Peak

I appreciate the phone limitations

I agree about phone being on-charge etc. being a valid solution, but any overnight charge which has failed, for whatever reason, has usually a major PITA for me in the past ... can't get to work / destination / need visit to Supercharger with delay / inconvenience etc. My Rolec charger occasionally tripped and having had that experience I, now, would only be interested in solutions which totally avoided that ("Not charging" alerts would be one solution)

For me I want the car, itself, to start charging at start of Off Peak, so that there is no chance that internet failure / phone battery flat etc. could prevent that. i.e. fail-safe so that charging always starts on time and, worst case, doesn't stop at end of Off Peak.

Then I have to remember to change the Car Start Charging time when the clocks change (my E7 is fixed so all devices that want to benefit have to have their schedule changed :( ... not a problem for more modern Smart Meter Off Peak of course)

I went through the entire beta phase with the developer and it's been quite the journey. There are so many things you run into you never thought about.

Plenty of projects that I have read about on here, and the "News" that I get from TeslaFi attest to how complicated this can be. Probably no worse than any other software tool interacting with a "rich" API.

I remember when Tesla changed from Climate automatically stopping after 30 minutes to "indefinitely". I had a schedule which turned the heater on, I didn't actually go out as intended, and the heater was then on for 3 days over the XMas holiday period ...

Software very rarely accommodates things like this ... I'd like a central heating thermostat which says "Turn heating on" and then a bit later "That's odd, room temperature is still falling, I'd better notify someone"
 

RealEvil_UK

Member
Apr 26, 2019
102
28
UK
How can you be sure the app can perform the API calls at a precise time? I guess you are using AlarmManager? does doze never affect that?

i think the reason why nearly every app offloads work to the server is to ensure the code can run and to protect battery life on the phone.

interesting idea though!
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,026
1,005
Leamington
I understand your concerns over security, but leaving the phone awake isn't a viable solution imho. I think some server element is needed - but it'll obviously need considerable care to ensure tokens or user details don't get compromised.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,021
Brea, Orange County
I understand your concerns over security, but leaving the phone awake isn't a viable solution imho. I think some server element is needed - but it'll obviously need considerable care to ensure tokens or user details don't get compromised.

Dashboard for Tesla is Android only because Andriod allows apps to continue to run in the background. So it's not like you have to keep the phone on all the time. But yes you can't turn it off or even put it in airplane mode. The issue with a server is always security. If it gets hacked you just exposed all your client's credentials. Too risky.
 

LukeT

Member
Apr 9, 2019
729
335
UK
I'm on Android and use teslafi a fair bit. I'd be interested in testing this too. I'll drop you a message.
 

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