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Tesla App - Android Minimum version

I suspect the minimum version of android required for the Tesla App to work
was raised yesterday to Android 7.

I purchased a Model 3 performance the day the web page opened in Australia.

Yesterday my login to the Tesla app was disabled for both my car and the 2 Powerwalls i have.

I spoke to Tesla by phone this morning and they confirmed that i now require android 7.

The Tesla App has been working perfectly for the last 2.5 years.
I was running version 3.1 of the Tesla App on Android version 5.

Unfortunately, i bought 5 identical phones for the family to use, so now i have
little choice but to throw 5 perfectly working phones in the bin, and buy 5 new phones.

Just a warning to others who may be using older versions of android.

When Tesla raises the minimum android version again, i would expect the Tesla App to log you out
and refuse to allow you to login again, no messages or warning about what the problem is.
It took me a while to figure out what was happening.

Hopefully this will warn others of the issue, so you dont spend ages trying to figure out what is wrong.
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Android 6 was released on Oct 5 2015. That's a fairly decent life cycle on the handsets of almost 7 Years.
Are you sure you can't upgrade the particular handsets to a Newer Android Version?

As of February 2022, approximately 2.84% of devices ran Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which was unsupported with no more security updates since August 2018.


2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
Sydney, AUS
Does appear to be 7.0 with latest update.

I'm surprised phones that are that old still have decent battery.

But this is pretty common unfortunately as developers do rewrites they drop older versions, though 5up or 6up is probably more common with apps these days.
Thanks everyone for your replies.

As well as the 5 of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (N9005) phones i also have 8 additional original batteries,
so a total of 13 phone batteries. This phone has a removable battery which allows me to run on battery for
several weeks without charging.

The battery life on the oldest battery (7+ years old) is still better than the battery life on my wife's second phone.
I had to buy her a Samsung A90 5g approx 2 years ago, as she had to run various apps at work.

Hardware wise the Note 3 is perfectly capable of running Android 10. and its nice and fast.
Unfortunately this requires a hacked rom etc and is unreliable.
LineageOs is not hacked but unable to access app from the google Play Store, so effectively unusable.
Samsung have no interest in updated software as planned obsolence rules the world now.

In regards to security patches, i do NOT regard any versions of Android as secure. I ONLY use the phone
for calls and the odd texts and a few app for convenience. I have NO important personal info on the phone.

I enabled pin to drive on my Tesla Model 3 on day one.

in regard to your comment
"Android 5 won't be receiving security updates anymore and the risk of someone exploiting this to gain access to your car just wouldn't be worth the risk"
I do not accept this argument.
Are you seriously suggesting that Android 7 is secure but the security patches from Android 7 to Android 12/13 are not important ?

I fully expect Tesla to bump the minimum version to 10 or 12 next time, and i do not blame them.
They have to balance the risks/convenience/security equation.

Anyway, i did not really want to get into a discussions about phones, i simply wanted to make other Tesla users aware of what may happen
when Tesla silently bumps the minimum Android Version required for the App.

My choice now appears to be

a) buy a google pixel phone as it will support the latest versions of android first
b) purchase a phone with a removable battery

Anyway, i am now on the treadmill of throw your 2 year phone in the bin and buy a new one,
but that is how the world works these days.

Yet again, thanks for your replies
My intent was not to complain but to alert others, so they are aware of the issue should they encounter it.

"I can’t imagine trusting the security of my car to an old unsupported phone operating system that’s riddled with security vulnerabilities."

I would suggest to you that exactly the same applies to the current version of Android.

My point is that i do NOT trust the security of ANY versions of Android, and act accordingly.


2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
Sydney, AUS
Feel the frustration, and it certainly was a flagship when released in late 2013, and an 8-series chip is still good.
Think the Note3 initially carried 4.2, then 4.3 and finally 5.0 officially. As you say there are some other versions around that can take it higher.

Which is about as good as you get for most Androids (two updates).

One of the reasons why I won't buy flagship Androids - because they simply don't have the support, or retain their value like iPhones.

But you can get great value in the mid-market if you shop around.
Picked up a Nokia 8.3 5G (A11) for under $400 recently, and an older LG K42 (also A11) for $100.
I have not checked your devices to see if there is a version available. However, I have had lots of success with my older devices by upgrading them to LineageOS which has been around for many years. Previously CyanogenMod. It allows you to have a bloat free, quite up to date Android system that typically runs better than older versions of a manufacturer's "tweaked" Android.
Edit/ Added URL:

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I run both major phone operating systems, and I've found that the Google Pixel phones have lasted me 3 years with is the same as my iPhone. The latest Pixel phones have a good way of managing the battery for longer life, and like the iPhone they're always on the latest OS version (without the bloat).
As a bonus my Pixel 4a has fingerprint recognition which has been great whilst wearing a mask.
Lineage is not an app. It is a version of Android tailored to work on a variety of devices. It runs all Google/Android and nearly all third party Apps. However, you need to know something about computers to put it onto phones and tablets. You could undoubtedly get someone to do it for a price. Probably cheaper than chucking out heaps of p[hones. I have Lineage running on about 5 different devices (phones and tablets). You get a recent Android version for your phone/tablet. It is free and open source.
This is likely to be my last post on this issue.

I went and bought a new Pixel 6, and the Tesla App is now working fine.
I suspect battery life is way less than i currently have, but time will tell.
I expect my wife will get this to replace her phone soon, and i will end
up having to buy a professional phone with changeable spare batteries.

To reiterate, my intention is not to complain but to save others time when they encounter this issue.

Some Thanks

moa - Thanks for suggestions about cheaper phones.
Perkz - Thanks for the link, i did not know its possible to get google play store running on Lineage

Maximillan - Thanks. I agree with what you wrote. I generally think that iphone hardware and software is better than Android.
I just have objections to buying massively overpriced products that are as closed as possible to prevent even simple pcb repairs,
all in the name of increased profitability and establishment of a monopoly. I say this as a person who wrote ALL of the software in
one of apple's products.

doggy1 - Thanks. for your suggestions. I would not need to pay someone to install Lineage for me, i could do this myself.
I have checked and there is a build for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (N9005) model. Unfortunately there are hardware variations
between N9005 models which require different binary blobs for the baseband drivers, particularly between phones
originally purchased from Telstra and Optus. Vodaphone i an unsure. I do no have the time available to invest to resolve
these issues (assuming that they can be resolved, which is not a given)

If you know more about this issue i would be love to chat about it.
If you can use the 5 phones and 13 batteries for Lineage experiments, i would be happy to send all of them to you for free,
as soon as i have a replacement, I would much rather see someone get some use out of them than they go to landfill.

Finally, thanks again everyone, i did not expect this number of helpful replies to my original post.
Thanks for the offer, but I have too many devices already. My biggest Lineage experiment is with it on an Odroid dual booting Lineage and Ubuntu 20 on my boat. I run all my chartplotting and AIS traffic via Lineage and other stuff such as email, HF radio control, Weatherfax, HF email via Ubuntu.

As to phones, when they die of bloat or too old Android rev, I put Lineage onto them as a spare and to prolong usefulness. I have phones still working after 15yrs!

On Lineage, for anyone who does not know, you CAN install Google Play system Gapps and have access to almost everything. If that does not access the specific Tesla App, just download the Tesla App APK and install it.
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