Tesla UI Revamp: Love/Hate

On December 25, 2022, Tesla owners were notified of a new software update and most of us downloaded it as we always do. The upload caused the biggest user interface (UI) revamp I’ve seen in the over two years that I’ve owned my Model 3. I generally like the new UI, but my editor Zach Shahan and many d others don’t like it. This article includes some tips on how to use it, which may help some people like it more.

Tesla UI main screen. March 1, 2020. Photo by Fritz Hasler.

Good change: Temperature controls, as shown at LO and 73°F in Figure 1, are now separate for the driver and right-seat passengers, allowing everyone more intuitive control of their separate temperatures.

Bad change: A number of often-used functions, like the seat heating controls, and even critical functions, like the windshield demister controls, are no longer on the main screen. They are only available on second-level menus. You only see them on the screen that appears (Figure 2) when you touch one of the lower left and right temperature controls, as shown in Figures 1–3. In Figure 2, the driver’s seat heater is set to level 3 and the front and rear defogger controls are the gray icons for the front and rear windshields just to the left of the blue AC switch. They change color when you activate them.

Good change: If you slide your finger horizontally on the conductor temperature number, a sub-screen appears (Figure 3) that helps you adjust the temperature easily and accurately. Note: If you hold down the temperature number for several seconds, the fan will turn off.

Figure 2: Seat heater and defroster controls. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Figure 3: Conductor temperature control. Photo by Fritz Hasler

What about infotainment controls? At the bottom center of Figures 1-3, if you press the three small white dots, you get the subscreen with 14 options, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Multifunction sub-screen. Photo by Fritz Hasler

I’m a news junkie, so pressing the TuneIn button brings up the sub-sub screen shown in Figure 5. I often listen to CNN or MSNBC streaming or PBS station KUER 90.1 in SLC on the radio. This screen allows me to choose between the three options as I try to avoid objectionable ads.

Figure 5: TuneIn sub-subscreen. Photo by Fritz Hasler

If I want to stream music instead, I press the orange button in the bottom center (Figure 5), which brings up the sub-subscreen shown in Figure 6. From this screen, I select one of my favorite music genres. Streaming music requires good cell phone reception, so if I’m driving north of Casper, Wyoming, and cell phone reception isn’t good, I go to my iPhone for one of my playlists favorites by pressing the Bluetooth button on the subscreen shown in Figure 4. You can see the Bluetooth controls for Diane Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For” at the top of Figure 5.

Figure 6: Music streaming. Sub-subscreen. Photo by Fritz Hasler

I rarely play computer games, but if I have kids in the car, I have to show the car racing game that uses the steering wheel and brakes (when parked) to control a racing car. To access it, head into Arcade on the subscreen in Figure 4, then choose the dune buggy race shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Dune buggy racing game. Oops, I actually drive my white Model 3. Controlled by steering wheel and brake. Photo by Fritz Hasler

I’ve never played/sung karaoke in public, but I love to sing and I’ve never been able to memorize the lyrics to very many songs. So if I’m killing time at a Supercharger, I choose Caraoke on the sub-screen shown in Figure 4 and choose one of my favorite songs (see Figure 8) and sing along with the amazing high quality sound.

Figure 8: Karaoke Sweet Caroline sings along. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Of course, for real entertainment, Tesla allows movies to be streamed on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. (See Figure 9.) These can be displayed by pressing the Theater button shown in Figure 4.

Figure 9: Cinema streaming options. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Choosing the Netflix option brings you the standard Netflix movie menu as shown in Figure 10. I have found that in typical metropolitan areas and cities, streaming movies using phone data laptop is working properly.

Figure 10: Netflix streaming options. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Tesla control options

Going back to some of the more important driver control options, tap the single white dot to the left of the three white dots in the bottom center of Figure 8 to bring up the rear camera view. You can also view the side views of the camera, as shown in Figure 11, if you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If the image is foggy, wipe the camera with your finger just above your license plate.

Figure 11: Rear and side camera views in my garage. Photo by Fritz Hasler

If you’re wondering where Tesla hid the tire pressure, tap the car icon in the bottom left of the main screen shown in Figure 1 and Figure 8. Then tap the Service button, which displays tire pressure on the sub-sub screen shown. in Figure 12. This only works while driving.

Figure 12: Tire pressures. Readings available while driving. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Another inscrutable piece of information is your odometer reading, which is cleverly hidden under the main car control menu software button, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13: Odometer reading. Cleverly hidden under software. Photo by Fritz Hasler

Whether you’re doing a software tutorial for Adobe Photoshop or Tesla’s user interface, you can’t expect to be comprehensive on the nearly endless number of options in a short article like this. An example of other Tesla tips can be found on YouTube:

My philosophy is to read or watch a few tutorials like this, which will give you useful information that you never would have guessed. However, I never remember all the tips. It is then best to Google your question for that bit of information that you really want and are most likely to remember.


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