Tesla’s in-car experience to improve with car karaoke and Sketchpad updates

Tesla owners are getting new features for their in-car Sketchpad Easter Egg in the next vehicle software update, just as promised recently by CEO Elon Musk. Music-focused bonus apps, including car karaoke, will follow shortly after.

The all-electric car maker’s Twitter account made the feature announcement in response to Tesla owner and artist Goro Fujita’s request for specific improvements to expand the Sketchpad app’s functionality. “Tesla finger painting. A request to @elonmusk: please add a color picker model with saturation adjustment and multiple undos…how else am I supposed to do serious freelance work with this? 😂 #Tesla,” he tweeted.

Tesla responded in kind with a touch of the account’s new personality flair. “Wish granted 💫. New Sketchpad features are rolling out in our next software update. What will you draw? 🎨,” the company announced. A request was also made for animation support by Fujita, to which Musk responded with a simple “Ok”; however, it’s not clear based on the announcement whether that capability made it into the update.

Musk chimed in to the announcement tweet afterwards, adding even more color to what Tesla owners can expect to be delivered to their Model 3, Model X, and Model S cars in the way of Easter Eggs. “Fun, little music tool coming later,” he revealed. “Tweak music & car karaoke.” He also agreed to a suggestion on sharing tools for Sketchpad, indicating a future addition of import/export functionality via the Tesla app.

Sketchpad was released with firmware version 8.1 and is accessed by pushing the “T” logo at the top of the Tesla center touchscreen three times. Once opened, users can create basic sketches with a provided color palette using their fingers as a writing instrument. The overall functionality of the program is reminiscent of MS Paint, a native Windows program with basic graphic creation and editing capabilities…until now.

The addition of car karaoke to Tesla’s in-car experience was originally teased by Musk last year. “Tesla Car Karaoke hopefully ready in OTA software update version 10. Just played Missile Command, Asteroids & Lunar Lander in V9. Really fun,” he tweeted. Perhaps all the new video game functionality developed in the months since Pole Position was removed made a karaoke function an easy add-on that didn’t merit the wait for an entirely new Tesla firmware.

Musk’s “tweak music” reveal seems to refer to a request for audio mixing capability that was suggested during the original Twitter discussion about the Sketchpad updates. “Completely agree. Every Tesla should have good art & music creation software,” he wrote in response to a comment about artistic features being sought after in the company’s vehicles. As a CEO that regularly interacts with humorous content online, to include creating some himself, a full suite of applications to support Tesla owners’ creativity is a fun, natural fit for Musk’s company.

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