Leading electric vehicle company Tesla Inc TSLA announced several partnerships with leading automakers for sharing its Supercharger network. This support might lead to third-party app support and an app store coming.
What Happened: The center touchscreen inside Tesla vehicles supports video games and Zoom meetings. Tesla Arcade offers video games, but they come from direct partnerships and not as third-party apps.
Reports have pointed to Tesla starting to support third-party apps as the company looks to offer features for its vehicle owners.
Not A Tesla App has spotted new wording in the settings of Tesla App accounts.
“Manage third-party apps with access to your Tesla Account data,” it reads under a section called third-party apps.
The Tesla news site said the third-party apps could provide more secure and controlled access for Tesla users versus the current method of needing complete access to the vehicle by certain apps.
Questions ranging from API fees and limitations and if companies will add app support were raised by the Tesla news site.
“While it’s not possible to add third-party apps right now, the ability to view services with access is already live on the Tesla site, including that a rollout might be around the corner,” the site stated. “There’s no doubt that this feature could significantly enhance how Tesla owners interact with their vehicles and third-party services, marking a new era of intelligent, user-friendly experiences.”
Why It’s Important: The news came as more automakers partnered with Tesla on access to the Supercharger stations, including Ford Motor Co F and General Motors Co GM.
Tesla has shown support for launching a software development kit for years related to an app ecosystem that could be similar to the existing company’s app stores, as reported by Electrek.
Elon Musk said in 2016 that the goal was to have app mirroring from phone to the console in the Tesla vehicles, similar to what Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto do.
The third-party app support likely points to other auto companies being able to have apps that connect to the Tesla network, rather than all Ford and General Motors customers having to sign up for a Tesla account to access the network.
Third-party app development could be in the early development stages and could show how much the auto companies are willing to work together.
Rumors of a Tesla App Store have been around for years and will likely increase as third-party apps gain momentum within the Tesla network.
An app store could also draw attention depending on if Tesla takes a cut of revenue, given Musk’s past comments calling out the 30% cut that Apple takes from its iOS store.