Apple’s “CarKey” is a new way to wirelessly unlock your car with your iPhone

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Apple has launched CarKey, a new way to wirelessly unlock your car with your iPhone. The announcement was made as part of the newly unveiled iOS 14 at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple says CarKey which will work over NFC, will only support the new 2021 BMW 5 Series for now, while support for an industry-wide standard that would use the new ultra wideband chip instead of relying solely on NFC is being worked on.

Once your iPhone or Apple Watch has been paired with the car that supports CarKey, all you only need to do to unlock your car is to hold your Apple device near an NFC reader that is in your car. The Verge reports that you will be required to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID before your car unlocks. You can also set up Express Mode to skip the biometric authentication. Sharing is also possible with others via iMessage. The feature according to Apple, will also support iOS 13.


What makes CarKey unique and different from other digital keys in the auto industry is the fact that is baked directly into Apple’s operating systems; and this comes along with some advantages.

Perhaps, the coolest thing about CarKey is that it allows you to create unique driving profiles for other iPhone users. This gives them user-specific permissions such as no restrictions for your spouse or trusted person.

Still on car related talks, CarPlay now supports custom wallpapers and new app categories, parking apps, EV chargers, and fast food takeout apps. Apple has also added support for NFC car keys with iOS 14, with the 2021 BMW 5 Series about to be the first to support the feature. Apple said NFC passes will be stored in Apple’s Secure Enclave for security and can be shared with other iOS users, which gives them temporary access to your vehicle. To prevent a situation whereby you may be locked out of your car, the feature will use a special power reserve feature to allow access up to five hours after your phone battery is flat.

Phone and keyless remote are becoming increasingly popular these days—showing the direction technology is heading to. Apple’s CarKey, however, is not the first of its kind, but it has the potential of making it big considering the fact that it is built or baked right inside your device on both iOS 13 and iOS 14.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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