iPhone may finally be able to unlock BMW via Apple CarKey

Shaun/Mar 30, 2020 11:33 AM

A problem we have with the G20 BMW 3 Series is that the Digital Key feature is only available for Android devices. However, the infotainment doesn't support Android Auto, only Apple CarPlay.

So, one would need an iPhone and an Android smartphone to fully utilize its features. But that may not be for long because 9to5Mac discovered a new ‘CarKey’ feature on the first beta version of iOS 13.4.

It is expected to be the same as the Digital Key feature, only rebranded to Apple CarKey. Which means it can be used to lock, unlock, and start the engine using NFC by tapping the door handle.

It may even support a fully remote operation like the current keyless entry key fob, just leave the iPhone in your pocket or bag and you can lock, unlock and start the car. 

Photo from 9to5Mac

With wireless Apple CarPlay, imagine this – walk up to your BMW, get in and start the car with Apple CarPlay automatically connected wirelessly, all while having only your iPhone in the pocket or bag.

This can be achieved through the use of Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) that was introduced on the iPhone 11 series, which means older iPhones won’t get to explore the fully wireless feature.

And that’s not all, they are suggesting that the next Apple Watch could gain UWB and feature CarKey. At this rate, a key fob might not even be necessary anymore. Well, we shall wait and see.