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Microsoft 365 Mobile apps Tesla

Tesla Calendar sync: Outlook -> Google Calendar -> Tesla

Calendar integration on Tesla cars is a great idea, unless you use Outlook on Android. Here is a workaround

My shiny new Tesla Model 3 has a bunch of neat features. One of those is the ability to display the calendar from your phone, so that you know what appointments you have coming up. It even does the cool thing of transferring location to the sat nav.

The trouble is, it doesn’t work. At least it doesn’t work if, like me a millions of other people, you don’t use the default Google calendar app.

I think I have a workaround.

Connecting other calendars to Google Calendars

I have 4 different calendars and they are all connected to Microsoft services and accessed via the Outlook app I installed. Android, for some reason, allows almost any app to be set as the default; but not for calendars. Tesla, for whatever reason, only integrates with the default Google calendar. So I looked for a different approach to expose my multiple Microsoft calendars.

With many other things there is a magical ability to Share something to the Tesla app and have it miraculously appear in the car. Sadly, this wasn’t true of calendar events.

I have battled with this for a couple of weeks; I couldn’t find a solution online and Tesla forums only had a hint of a solution. However, a hint was all that was needed. Since Android won’t let you change the default calendar, perhaps it is possible to add other calendars to the default…

Start with Google Calendars in the browser

Google calendars provides an option to add Other Calendars from the browser, while both personal Outlook.com and Microsoft 365 provide ICS URLs for the calendars. This is what I did:

  1. Open Google Calendars from: https://calendar.google.com/
  2. Click the Add Other Calendars + button on the left nav and choose the From URL option

  3. Open your Outlook Online calendar
    1. For Outlook.com (personal) calendars, go to https://outlook.live.com/calendar and click the Settings cog icon at the top right, then View All Settings.
    2. For M365 (business) calendars, go to https://outlook.office.com/mail/options/calendar/Shared (you shouldn’t need to do the Settings cog step)
  4. With Calendar selected in Settings, select Shared Calendars. Half way down the page there is a Publish a Calendar section. Choose your desired calendar from the drop down (you probably only have 1)
  5. Set your permissions. You probably need the most permissive option.
  6. Click Publish. Now left click on the URL and choose Copy Link form the menu
  7. Back Google Calendars, past the copied IRL into the URL of Calendar field.
  8. Click Add calendar and wait a minute for it to confirm it’s been added. It will appear in the left nav; click it and rename it to something useful

Set up your Android app

Now grab your Android phone and open the Google Calendar.

  1. Click the pancake menu at the top left and go to settings. You should see the calendars you added appearing there. It can take a few minutes, and you may need to do up Refresh first.
  2. Press on each of your new calendars and turn on Sync (you can rename them here if needed).

Fire up the Tesla

Finally, you can go back to your Tesla, make sure Bluetooth etc are turned on so that the phone and car can sync.

Open the calendar. The shortcut is to press the date at the top of the touchscreen

Wait a few minutes (it’s not very fast) and you will, hopefully, see the full set of calendars appear, from multiple calendars.

Let me know if that worked for you, if you have any improvements or other cool tips.

By Simon Hudson

Interests: Knowledge management; Information Architecture; Flexible working technologies

Passions: Physics, music, classic cars

Aspirations: To drive a V8 Vantage to the Amalfi Coast; to play guitar to a crowd of 1000+; to ski more than once a year; to make a difference

Background: From teaching to quality assurance, technical development to international marketing and from business development to business start-ups, Simon has flitted, butterfly like, learning from each experience and bringing that breadth to his client facing and business development activities. Simon is articulate, opinionated, understanding and suffers from an insatiable curiosity.

3 replies on “Tesla Calendar sync: Outlook -> Google Calendar -> Tesla”

Thank you Simon – it works perfect – very precise instruction – I owe you a beer in Copenhagen 🙂

Btw – have you found out how to turn off the radio. It is a problem when you are using the web – ex. listen to podcasts – then the sounds are mixed.

You are very welcome. The price of beer in Copenhagen, it’s worth coming over just for that!
I generally switch the media source to phone, which quietens it down. I mostly play podcasts from my phone anyway, or use the built in player (I pay the month subscription for the Tesla connection service), so I rarely hit this problem, but do know what you mean.
If I can leave it to you to find out how to add a Euro symbol from the touchscreen…

Simon,
Was very happy to see this post. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get the various Outlook calendars to sync with my Google web version. I use PC desktop version of Outlook’s Calendar view to overlay 2 work calendars and 1 personal (which is actually my Google personal that I used the “add internet calendar” function to bring in).
I see them in my Google calendar after adding them in like you suggested and did the permissions (Anyone Can >> See Nothing and You Can >> See all Event Details). When I refresh the page, no events from any of the added calendars can be seen.

Prior to your post, I had added in the “accounts” for the various email / calendar accounts, i.e. the two work and 1 personal. In the Android Calendar App, I see those “calendars” with the various “radio” buttons, I can click on them and say sync, but they never show up in the Tesla. They had been showing up in the app, but they seem to be “stuck” on maybe only showing the recurring events that existed when I did the first sync. So if a) I added in a meeting earlier this week, it doesn’t show up or b) a recurring meeting has been moved, or deleted, it doesn’t reflect that.

One last thing, I try to use Power Saver on my Galaxy Note 20 all the time, apparently, the sync in the Android calendar app won’t happen if you have Power Saver enabled. Of course that is a pain to remember to turn off before you get in the car.

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