53 Changes in the 2021 Tesla Holiday Update

Santa Elon has gifted version 11 for our Tesla through the 2021 Holiday Software Update. Here are 53 changes that I’ve noticed. To make things easier, I’ve categorized these changes into 12 categories.


Let’s start off with the obvious, cards. Prior there was a card menu that displayed your odometer, tire PSI and Wipers. These have all moved.

1) The tire PSI is under the service menu.
2) The odometer has its own page under settings called trips.
3) Wipers are accessible by clicking the left stalk.

The notification cards have also changed. The days of bubbles are gone and we have entered the rectangular world.

These changes are noticeable when using 4) the voice commands 5) text messaging and 6) phone calling. Also want to point out that when on a phone call, the dial pad selection has moved.


You are driving along and you see big foot. You want to quickly tap the dash cam icon in the top bar. Wait you can’t? Yeah the top bar has also been changed.

7) Saving dash cam video is now under the quick settings page.

8) Home Link pops up in the bottom left and top beside the temperature when “active”. You can also access it through the settings.

For the other missing features from the top bar that you’ve grown to love, well they all will take an extra click now.

Going to settings will bring them back, well in the top bar. This currently effects; 9) Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 10) user profiles and 11) notifications.


To split the climate or not to split the climate, that is no longer the question. You now have split temperature all the time. Well, sort of.

12) Split temperature controls is on left and right of the screen now, always. You can no longer have a single temperature button. You can however adjust it from either side and it will change the single temperature. Clicking it brings up the option to split the temperature. Although it’s a bit confusing if I’m splitting or not. Blue vs white?

13) While we’re in this setting menu, you’ll notice automatic heated seats. Unlike a lot of the changes listed here that is purely an extra click from the prior layout, this is actually a new feature. It’s still an extra click away though.

14) Are you looking for the other temperature controls you had? Well click and scroll the temperature setting up.

15) As for your Frunkpuppy or camping adventures, those buttons are no longer above the temperature controls. They are now on the right side.


The music category brings a bunch of changes, and as with most of the changes in this update, Tesla is definitely trying to increase the number of clicks you have to perform on the screen. Maybe there is a hidden built in clicker game? Anyways, music;

16) We know you subscribe to both Spotify and Tidal, you aren’t a peasant after all. But how do you switch between the two? Good bye icons, hello drop down menu. Although I’m not a fan of this, they did add a new button to help.

17) There is a recent music/music source button for music in the mini music menu thingy (that is the technical term, right?). This is a handy way to switch sources and recent playlists without having to go 15 clicks deep.

18) The standard search along in the mini music menu thingy is also a nice change. You now have access to searching all the time.

19) You can now adjust the subwoofer under music settings. There is even a nice Easter egg. Move the bass up and then sub all the way up to see what it is.


20) You can now quickly see what phone you’re connected too. It shows the name in the top left. This is helpful since the Bluetooth connection toggle is nested.

21) Tesla implemented a new tab system for different parts of the UI. Your phone settings and calendar are now accessible through tabs along the top. More on this later.


There is a ton to cover here and I must say Tesla had done a great job at testing my muscle memory.

22) The new quick access buttons are best described by Forrest Gump, “Tesla quick buttons are like a box of chocolates, you never know which one you’ll get”. Your glovebox button is no longer easily accessible.

23) Quick buttons has recording and Sentry mode box buttons now. I know this was mentioned prior so the count might be off a little. Reading the title was not enough, I wanted the extra click. Yeah lots of clicks happening here.

24) There is a new menu option listed as “Pedal and steering”. Don’t get too excited though, nothing has changed, it’s simply a name change.

25) Another name change with smart functionality is Dark Mode. It was previously known as night mode. It is the same as before but with a new name.

26) Charging has it’s own menu option now. There is a helpful tips button in the bottom. They even added it in the app.

27) Autopilot settings has the option for automatic blind spot cameras. Unlike Honda, it works on both the left and right signal.

28) The peasant 3 & Y models are catching up to the elite S&X owners with the dedicated trip menu item.

29) You can now delete all dashcam clips under the safety option.

30) A new button style is used across settings where buttons exist. It’s really noticeable under service. They even utilize space better using two rows.

31) More regions now have access to remote Sentry Mode. Driving a Tesla in Canada? You have access!


31) I think it’s fair to say that my neighbours will hate me if they don’t already of course. Light Show! You can even customize it. It’s a party trick but it’s amazing and fun. (Create your own)

32) Santa Mode now has elves. They show as people. Other cars are still reindeer. You are still Santa.

33) You can now play Sonic. This requires a controller.

34) You can now play Sudoku.

35) There is a multiplayer option in the battle of Polytopia. I couldn’t actually get this to work.

36) You can no longer play games while in drive. Sorry to all the passengers that enjoyed this feature safely prior. There is a way to verify a passenger, although I couldn’t get it to work.

37) Remember the tab system I talked about with the phone and calendar? Well it was applied to the entertainment App as well. You now have access to theater mode, arcade, toy box and the web browser from all the same screen. They are all quick tabs. The browser is still slow and needs an update.


38) The bottom bar app icons are now colourful. They added dedicated icons for things like Spotify, Tidal, etc and also removed others like the Wipers.

39) On the left is your favourite apps and on the right is your most recently used. You can still click the “all apps button” to access the rest. They just popup in a box above.

40) You can have a total of 5 icons on the bottom bar at any given time. This means if you only use 3 favourite apps, then your last 2 recent apps will show.


41) Supercharger button is moved. You now need to click search and then it can be found next to home and work.

42) Waypoints got a much needed update for usability. You can now add and edit stops.

43) Looking to check travel time with and without tolls? Clicking time! You need to click settings, then settings then scroll.


44) Satellite View now will stay active when dark mode switches at night. Prior it would automatically turn it off.

45) Maybe part of this change is based on the contrast colours being dialed down during night. There is an obvious change from prior.

46) Changing the map orientation is closer to you. It’s moved up to the top left beside the search.

47) You can now show and hide map details with a quick toggle.


48) NAV on Autopilot is now an icon rather than text.

49) When on Autopilot, it’s now a small icon in the top left bedside the gear.

50) Using traffic aware cruise control? It will light up blue.


Something, something FSD Beta Canada. Okay on a more serious note, this holiday update does contain new stuff for us Canadians to complain about;

52) Tiktok because who doesn’t want to scroll through endlessly on short videos in their cars. This might be a TikTok issue similar to Disney Plus.

53) Boombox Megaphone Edit: I can confirm boombox megaphone is in Canada. Take this one off your list of complaints.

I’m sure that I’ve missed some changes but I’ve spent way too long playing spot the difference already. If you noticed anything that my list is missing, drop a comment below.

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