Running on an emulator, the demonstration shows the different functions the app allows, like unlocking the car, turning the head lights on and off, and honking the horn remotely. There’s also a charging screen that shows details of the Tesla’s battery life, a location screen that lets users track down the vehicle, and a climate screen that controls the temperature settings remotely.
These aren’t unique functions to the Apple Watch. In fact, all these features are available on the current iPhone app, ELEKS simply developed (unofficially, without involvement from Tesla) a paired down version of the web app to run on the watch. Considering the forward-thinking nature of electric cars, having a quick and handy spot-check of the car’s status right on your wrist makes sense.
It’s a little anticlimactic to hear, though, that it’s just a port of the already existing app. Why not have functions specific to the watch? According to the developers, it’s largely due to Apple’s habit of playing its cards close to its chest. Watchkit, the software development kit for the device, doesn’t have all of the watch functions available yet. The version developers received is a beta form of the software, and there’s no way for them to currently write software for the accelerometer, gyroscope, TapTic tactile notifications, and partial touch screen functions. Essentially, all the stuff that makes the Apple Watch cool.
The watch also has to be in Bluetooth proximity to the phone, acting more of an extension of the phone app rather than a standalone program. These things are subject to change, however, as any software in beta tends to do. Heck, we’re talking about a product that nobody outside of a Cupertino clean room has even seen in real life. As the software improves, we’re sure to see some cool stuff follow. Maybe future versions of the app will have TapTic reminders if you leave the lights on, or use the motion sensors to start the car with a wave of the hand.