A couple of weeks ago Jason Calcanis had an interesting take on Apple’s possible play in electric cars and, primarily, the Apps market for the soon to be ubiquitous, large touchscreen interfaces in cars in five to seven years. The clincher from Calcanis was that self-driving cars would give riders and “drivers” more free time to use Apps in the car in the future, and create a new revenue stream from the company that created this marketplace.
There’s a company called Tesla Apps (www.teslaapps.net) that’s not waiting on the driverless cars revolution and wants owners to customize your Tesla touchscreen with its custom app settings right now.
— Tesla Apps (@TeslaApps) March 1, 2015
The company's profile on Twitter says, "Tesla Apps is designed to give Model S owners a premier dashboard experience on the 17 inch in-car touchscreen." The product offer to Tesla owners is the ability to receive "dashboard essentials" (free) or become a premium member for $4.99/month, which at that price point provides these apps: a gmail reader, RSS feed, twitter, calendar, stocks, mileage tracker. Under the pay app section, the company says an IMAP email option and places Apps are coming soon.
The premium membership also includes "dashboard essentials," such as the weather, instagram, RSS, notes, clock and a very smart app tied into PlugShare. That's well done by Tesla Apps and should get a lot of owners intrigued by just having "other" charging options available on the big screen. It's a pain to find on your phone and locate the PlugShare app while driving!
Both App options include ongoing updates and upgrades, lock screen with valet instructions and the premium membership offers up to three profiles and vehicles, just like driver profiles with the Model S.
The company also cites on its FAQ page that it's "eagerly awaiting the release of Tesla's software development kit (SDK). Once it is available, we will be immediately assessing the SDK. We have already started planning apps and features that will require an SDK, of course we will have to see what Tesla makes available once it comes out."
Below is a video overview of some of the apps: