Tesla App designers prefer Android Wear over Apple Watch



Apple may be trying to attack a niche portion of the wearable market by creating a more “premium” option, but premium hardware doesn’t always equate to blissful software. The developers of the Tesla app for the Apple Watch found that out in their latest project.

According to them, Google approached Tesla to create an app for Android Wear after seeing they’d done one for the Apple Watch. They accepted Google’s challenge, and more than just create a beautiful app for which to control your Tesla smart car, they laid out a wealth of impressions about the development experience and differences between the two platforms.

Here’s a spoiler for you: they like Android Wear. A lot. Their love for it comes from the fact that it’s a much more open platform to work with compared to Apple Watch. Where Apple limits developers on API access and low-level device integration, Tesla found it refreshing that Android Wear gave them nearly everything they needed.


Perhaps their most favorite thing was being able to experiment with unique user interface tricks — apparently things are quite restricted in that regard on iOS. They also wondered how the Apple Watch could only manage 18 hours of battery life on such a limited platform compared to 2 days on many of the smart watches that run Android Wear.

Things weren’t all peachy for the Tesla team on Android Wear. Here are a few complaints they had:

  • Voice activation is too slow of a process. Their suggestion to Google is to allow developers control over the command after the initial “OK Google” to cut down on the 2-3 second pauses needed between each part of the command.
  • While better than the Apple Watch, battery life could still be improved. They love Pebble in that regard.
  • Thin documentation — not a knock on the platform itself, but certainly something that can mar the development experience.

But even with all that, they believe Google has done a fine job with Android Wear and can’t wait to see where it goes from here on out. Be sure to read their full thoughts on Android Wear development and what went into the new Tesla app over at Eleks Lab.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. “2 hours”?? Sounds like that should be more.

    1. I think they mean 2 days, which is about average for an Android Wear device (well it is for me)

      1. Or maybe it was supposed to be 20 hours?

        1. Original article says 2 days.

      2. And current Android watches are on CPUs designed for phones. New lower power/thinner watch CPUs and screens are coming that should improve battery life. Should appear in Fall lineup.

        1. Would like to see some proof of that claim.

          1. Mediatek CPU is just one…

            Intel also working on smartwatch specific components, which was announced for the Tag Hauer Android watch coming later in year. Most current Android watches have Snap400 CPU designed for phones, not watches. Moto360 on a pretty old CPU as well.

          2. I’m hoping that Qualcomm is already working on a processor like these you’ve mentioned.

          3. Yeah, you’d think QC would do a watch series, but they may wait for sales to pickup or may wait for new Cortex architecture coming from ARM specific to wearables.

      3. He meant 2 days, it was a typo. I’ll get it fixed! Thanks!

  2. What’s the true reason for Apple’s tendency to restrict so much API access?

    1. It would make them open sourced..

      1. And that would… help the community. *Shudders*

  3. Great, now I need a Tesla to go with my 360 lol

    1. That’s what I told my wife. It’s not just a want, but a need.

  4. Tesla Model 3 in 2020 and a moto 360 7 and a one plus 6 lol life is complete

    1. Might be affordable once the gigafactory starts cranking out batteries.

    2. I’m hoping to have a Model 3 in 2 years. I hope it doesn’t get pushed back until 2020.

      1. 2020 is fine with me. Currently have a Honda Accord I’ll have the best of it by 2020.

  5. Seriously ? Now a days facts and fiction boundary is blurred.

    1. The article is about Tesla’s opinion of developing for Apple Watch vs Android Wear. You can’t claim that Tesla’s opinion is “fiction”, it’s an opinion.

      1. It’s not even Tesla’s opinion. The article was written by the Russian company that developed the application.

        1. It’s not even Russian company – it’s Ukrainian company from Lviv

          1. Thanks for the correction. I guess I need to be more cognizant of the difference these days.

          2. Ukraine… Russia… it’s all the same now anyway :P

          3. That’s what Russia thinks, anyway.

        2. So in other words it is Teslas opinion as they really cant make an opinion on it as they use outsiders to develop their app, so basically it is the Tesla developers giving their opinion, im sure they are paid by Tesla also.

  6. Every single marketing item (watch faces in the app store, etc) I’ve ever seen likes to gloss over the fact that there is a big chunk of missing LCD on the bottom of that watch. HEHE. Was a total buzz kill for me. Can’t handle it. Got a cheap LG G Watch instead to hold me over until they make a proper round display.

    1. Huawei Watch.

  7. Strange, People look for the Apple Watch and Tesla prefer Android wear, All the best Tesla.

  8. Developers need to wake up and see android is the better os to develop for. Tesla did, but to many devs still think iOS is better.

    1. Coming from a dev:
      No, it’s not better. The dev tools are horrible and sadly android wear really lacks behind the apple watch as of now (even by quite a margin). A simple app like they just developed is just as easy to make on Android (more or less). So it isn’t really surprising that they went ahead using it. But for more sophisticated apps iOS and its tools are vastly superior. That’s one of the reasons (not the only one) you see app XYZ come out on iOS first before passing to android.

      And Tesla will without any doubt get an iOS version out ASAP as well. I think android was simply chosen due to it being easily accessible in comparison to an unreleased apple watch.

      1. i think which one is better is personal opinion, i have also dabbled in developing and i myself prefer Android, i also wouldnt say more sophisticated apps are on iOS at all or that the tools are superior. Also the way i see it, apps are on iOS first because of money, apps on iOS are usually more expensive then on Android and cant really be pirated so easily without a jail break, so developers use Apple users to make money then Android gets it later because more people pirate on that platform, so the app is usually released for free on Android with some advertising and an option to pay to get rid of the advertising. Also Apple has certain rights over apps from places like Disney and Nickelodeon for example, thats why you never see these types of apps on Android, they have licensing issues.

  9. Who cares. Tesla is owned by a rich billionaire douche who makes playthings for other rich billionaire douches. I don’t think anybody really cares about him.

    1. Computers, mobile phones, quad-copters, LCD TVs, etc. all start that way. If you don’t like being behind on that curve, either pay to be on the leading edge, and quit b!tching, or put the computer down, move into your treehouse.

    2. What a fantastically irrelevant comment! May I direct your attention to the above article that talks about how Android Wear is being heralded as easier to develop for than the Apple Watch, and how that means more developers will be likely to adopt it. Alternatively you can sit here and spout about how you’re unhappy that a billionaire is willing to invest in the future of technology and connectivity, because I get the feeling you may be a Steve Jobs sympathiser, and therefore, a hypocrite.

      1. relax, he’s just a fan of apple. I heard they get angry when someone shows any sign of disagreement

    3. Oh. Well, I’m not a rich douche and hope to buy the Tesla Model 3 in 2 years as it’s going to run about $35,000. Thanks for your opinion though.

  10. mp3 to m4r,iPhone ringtones

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