Apple iOS 14 Can Turn Your iPhone Into A Digital Car Key

by Harish Kumar | 26/06/2020
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Apple has announced an upgrade to its iPhone operating system that turns the iPhone into digital car keys.

During the recently-held annual developer conference, tech giant Apple has announced a new-gen update to its iPhone operating system - iOS 14, which enables car drivers to use their iPhone as a car key to unlock/start the vehicles.

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To activate this function, drivers have to pair the iPhone or Apple Watch with a car which supports this new feature, dubbed the CarKey. He or she needs to hold the iPhone close to the car near the communication reader, which is usually placed in the car’s door handle.

Depending on how the drivers customize the profile, they may have to set up the biometric fingerprint scan or facial recognition to unlock and access the car.  The “Express Mode” can be used to skip the fingerprint scanner. Once the driver is inside the vehicle, the iPhone can be kept in the pocket or elsewhere, as the driver can start the car with the phone kept pocket itself.

Apple Introduces New Digital CarKey

Interestingly, Apple’s new digital CarKey feature will also allow its users to share the digital key with their family member via an iMessage with or without the restrictions. For instance, a car owner can choose to limit the time that the CarKey’s recipient has access to the vehicle. In case the iPhone is misplaced or goes missing, the digital car key function could be turned off by using iCloud.


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As expected, the German carmaker BMW is the first one to offer Apple’s CarKey, which is announced to be available for the drivers of the 2021 BMW 5-Series.

Apple also revealed that they are working with other auto manufacturers in the industry to bring the digital CarKey to more cars by sometime next year.


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Apple Devices That Supports Digital CarKey Feature: iPhone XR, iPhone XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, Pro Max, second-gen iPhone SE, and Apple Watch Series 5.

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