You can now change Tesla controls and lock your vehicle on the go, thanks to Apple Shortcuts

A picture of an Apple iPhone 12 with the Tesla app open
(Image credit: Future / Fraser McDermott)

With an update that just came out for the Apple Tesla app, you can finally use Apple Shortcuts to automate functions for your Tesla. Though a seemingly small change - this is a much-requested feature for Apple users and should be even better with the launch of iOS17

For quite some time, Tesla owners have been turning to third-party apps to work any form of Automation in their vehicles. Going through multiple apps to do simple functions can cut away at the efficiency of doing it in the first place. Given that a Tesla car likely fits into the everyday use of its owner, working out how to automate certain functions can help out greatly.  

Making your car smarter

As spotted by not a tesla app, version 4.24.0 of the Tesla App announces that Apple users can now access new Tesla controls from Apple Shortcuts. In the app, it says:

“You can also create your own shortcuts to perform various actions, such as setting your vehicle to your desired temperature and starting the climate system. To set up your own shortcuts, open the Apple Shortcuts app.”

Climate control has functions like Dog Mode which sets a cool temperature for your canine friend, camp mode which makes sleeping in your car more comfortable, and the rather bizarre Bioweapon Defense Mode which turns on air filters and makes your vehicle air-tight. With Apple Shortcuts, you can set your Tesla to automatically start these modes under certain parameters. 

As an example of this, you could set a shortcut to start warming up your car as you turn off your very last alarm. If you set one for 5 minutes before you are out of the door, your car should be at a good temperature by the time you get in it. 

Here is a list of all vehicle controls available in Apple shortcuts as of right now: 

  • Bioweapon Defense Mode
  • Camp Mode
  • Defrost
  • Dog Mode
  • Precondition Vehicle
  • Set Seat Heater (seat position and heat level)
  • Set Temperature (choose climate temperature)
  • Vent Windows
  • Set Media Volume
  • Emissions Test
  • Close All Windows
  • Flash Lights
  • Honk Horn
  • Lock/Unlock
  • Open Frunk
  • Open/Close Charge Port
  • Open/Close Door (Model X)
  • Open/Close Rear Trunk
  • Sentry Mode
  • Set Charge Limit
  • Start/Stop Charging

This is a pretty broad range of options that should make shortcuts a little easier. Using an iPhone with a Tesla is gradually getting better, with support for AirPlay on Tesla arriving in July. However, there's still no sign of what we're all actually waiting for, which is of course CarPlay.

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.