While Apple officially announced the new feature while talking about iOS 14, the new digital Car Key element as part of iOS is actually going to launch to the public when iOS 13.6 goes live at some point in the near future.
Which means that auto manufacturers need to update their apps if they plan on supporting the upcoming feature. At launch, that’s only one: BMW. The company has officially updated the BMW Connected iOS app, and the corresponding Apple Watch app, to bring along support for the new digital Car Key feature. The app update brings the version number of the app to 10.8.
At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference BMW and Apple announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use iPhone as a fully digital car key. The strong relationship of both companies led to a real BMW car key stored securely on iPhone in Apple Wallet.
The BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable you to lock and unlock your car by holding iPhone up to the door handle and start it up by placing iPhone in the smartphone tray. The car owner can also share access to up to 5 friends. The Digital Key will be also available via your Apple Watch. Setup of the Digital Key can be done through the BMW Connected App while the Digital Key is stored in Apple Wallet after setup.
We are excited to announce the availability of Digital Key for iPhone for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020. If your vehicle is capable it will be shown on the vehicle tab.
Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.
As noted above, BMW is offering this feature for a lot of different vehicles under the company’s brand. However, it’s just the newest versions of these lineups. And, of course, if you want to use the Car Key feature with your supported BMW model, you’ll need to have iOS 13.6 installed and running on your handset (and the latest version of watchOS as well) for the feature to work as well.
The updated BMW Connected app is available now. Are you looking forward to the new Car Key feature?