iPhone users can now share digital car keys with Pixel owners

Google’s December Android feature drop includes the ability for iPhone users to remotely share digital car keys with Pixel owners, with more devices to follow.

Apple's Marketing image showcasing using the CarKe feature to unlock a BMW vehicle with an iPhone
Image: Apple
  • What’s happening? Google has updated its Android software with digital car key sharing between iPhone and Pixel owners. Support for other compatible Android devices running Android 12+ is in the works and will roll out soon.
  • Why care? Because this is the first time iPhone owners will be able to share digital car keys with the Pixel phones.
  • What to do? Update your Pixel to the latest OS version.

Android update brings digital car key sharing between iPhone and Pixel

On December 1, 2022, the official Google blog announced the December feature drop with Wear OS improvements, a new YouTube search widget, sharing digital car keys between iPhone and Pixel owners, and other perks.

The update permits users to “remotely share access to compatible cars with friends and family,” saying the feature is “available on Pixel, then iPhone.”

The feature will be more broadly available soon as Google is working on adding support to all Android 12+ devices. The same digital car key works across Android and iOS, and you can change accept at any time.

Digital car is a relatively new standard so you’ll only find this feature supported on recent vehicles. To learn more about the standard and how to add your car key to the Wallet app on iPhone and Apple Watch, check out Apple’s support document. To find out if your car is compatible, contact the manufacturer or your dealership.

Google provides similar resources with its Android Help website explaining how to get started with digital car keys, how to share a digital car key and more.

What are digital car keys? How do they work?

iPhone users have enjoyed digital car key support for several years, since the feature’s debut in iOS 13.6 which launched in September 2020. It permits you to star not only lock and lock a compatible car with your iPhone but also start it.

You can share a digital car key via iMessage if you’d like to securely share access to your car with friends and family. Your digital car keys are available in the Wallet app across all your device signed in with the same Apple ID account. Like with your Apple Pay cards, you can remotely wipe digital car keys from a lost or stolen iPhone.

And thanks to the iPhone’s Power Reserve feature, you can use your digital car key for up to five additional hours after the phone has run out of battery. For more information on that, we have a dedicated tutorial for those wishing to learn what Power Reserve is on Apple devices and how it works.