iOS 13.4.5 beta code hints at an upcoming iPhone with Touch ID, Express Transit, and future CarKey support

Earlier today, Apple seeded the first developer beta of iOS 13.4.5, which is starting to reveal a few of its secrets.

For instance, earlier today we reported that the new software supports sharing songs from Apple Music to Instagram and Facebook Stories. And now code within the next update for the mobile operating system is hinting at incoming features for an unannounced iPhone, all of which we’ve seen hinted at previously.

As for this latest report, the folks over at 9to5Mac discovered code within the first beta of iOS 13.4.5 hinting at future CarKey support. The interesting bit here is the fact that, up until now, CarKey support has been directly associated with Face ID for biometric security precautions. This code in iOS 13.4.5 suggests that CarKey will support Touch ID as well.

Specifically, the code hints at an upcoming, unannounced iPhone that offers Touch ID and also supports the CarKey API.

The CarKey API will make it possible to unlock, lock, and start an NFC-equipped car. We’ve previously reported that BMW will likely be a launch partner for the feature whenever it sees the light of day. And it will also support the Express Transit Card feature (lining up with earlier reports), which means it won’t need to always be accessed via Face ID or Touch ID, even when the phone is out of battery thanks to power reserve.

But Express Transit with power reserve requires an iPhone XR, iPhone XS models, or the iPhone 11 series (and future models as well, presumably). Here’s the code in question:

The code discovered in iOS 13.4.5 explicitly calls out a future iPhone that supports Touch ID, Express Transit Card, and CarKey. That does seem to suggest that Apple is working on a handset that will support the fingerprint sensor in the near future.

It’s also worth noting that there is a message that reads, “Your device does not support Car Key” which indicates that some older iPhone models won’t support the feature at all.

So, is this all leaning into a future iPhone 9 (or iPhone SE 2)? It seems pretty likely at this point. We just reported earlier today that Apple is now rumored to announce the new low-cost iPhone as soon as April 15, with a launch before the end of the month. The handset will feature a 4.7-inch display, an A13 processor, Touch ID, and look almost identical to the iPhone 8.

Are you looking forward to CarKey?