Apple Unveils New CarKey Feature To Unlock Your Vehicle Using Your Phone

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Apple has announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use iPhone as a fully digital auto key.

BMW, bemoaned for its original, complicated and confusing iDrive device mounted on the center console, also was the first to integrate the iPod into its vehicles and the first to offer CarPlay. However, one of the rumoured features that will also be coming as a part of iOS 14 is Apple Car Key. But once that's done you just tap your phone/watch on the door handle and authenticate with your face or thumb print, just like you would using Apple Pay to buy something in a shop. Once inside it's simply a question of placing the phone in its existing wireless charging holder, which then allows the vehicle to be started and driven away - so long as the main user has granted access to the car's full suite of functions.

Digital Key will also support auto access for up to five other shared users and virtual access limits for young drivers.

Apple made a string of new car-related announcements at its annual WWDC developer conference on Monday.

If you're concerned what will happen if your iPhone's battery is depleted, BMW says there is a power reserve feature where the phone will still function as a key for up to five hours after it turns off because of a low battery. The feature will also come to iOS 13.

BMW Apple CarKey
The digital key is accessed via BMW’s app

Now that payment deadlines have been relaxed due to COVID-19, the Moneycontrol Ready Reckoner will help keep your date with insurance premiums, tax-saving investments and EMIs, among others.

Apple is using Near Field Communication, known as NFC, a technology which allows devices within an inch or less of each other to exchange data wirelessly. It's likely each automaker will want to implement its own options within Apple's digital key, but at today's event, the tech company was very excited about the ability to share keys over iMessage. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in May that China would be Apple's largest market within two years and that the number of Apple stores in China would nearly double to 40 within that time frame.

All iPhones from the iPhone XR and iPhone XS and newer will be compatible, as will the Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.

Also new for CarPlay, which will allow you to customize the background, to best adapt it to the style of your auto. The company expects this to be available next year.

While it has not been confirmed yet, we expect the refreshed BMW 5 Series sedan to come with this technology in India, when the vehicle launches sometime next year.

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