BMW extends the use of its digital key. Indeed, you can now share access to your car with Android users, even from an iPhone.
If you have a digital key on your car, you no longer have to worry about losing or forgetting your car key. Since 2015, the digital key (called Digital Key in English) has appeared in the automotive industry with pioneers like Audi and Valeo. In 2020, BMW unveiled its Digital Key, which allows BMW owners to use their smartphone to lock, unlock and start their car. At first it was only available for iPhone users but in 2021 Android users also got the feature. However, sharing a digital key between the two ecosystems was impossible.
The functionality has even been extended with the Digital Key Plus, which exploits the ultra-wideband (Ultra Wideband or UWB) capacity of certain smartphones. UWB is a very high frequency, short-range wireless communication protocol characterized by extremely more precise localization than Bluetooth or WiFi. In addition, it is an energy-saving technology.
BMW is far from alone in offering this feature. This is the case, for example, of the Tesla Model 3 where it is possible, via the Tesla application, to somehow download the key in order to be able to unlock your vehicle. On the side of BMW, however, your key can be stored in your Apple Wallet and can also be simply sharedby sending it by iMessage to one of your relatives or friends who will be able to unlock and start the car.
Android and iPhone, at the same level
However, this feature was only available for iPhone users. From now on, BMW enables sharing of a BMW digital key between iPhone and Android smartphones. It is better late than never.
The new function will be available for all new vehicles equipped with BMW Digital Key or BMW Digital Key Plus and older cars with a 22-11 software update. Cross-platform sharing will initially be available for compatible iPhones (with iOS 16.1 or later) and Google smartphones (Pixel 6/6 Pro and Pixel 7/7 Pro with Android 13 or later), and later for models from Samsung .
Opening and starting a car with a smartphone is no longer science fiction. In cooperation with Apple, BMW is offering to turn its customers’ iPhone into a car key. A technology that we have…
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