the technology no longer depends on your smartphone’s operating system

BMW expands the use of its digital key. In fact, you can now share access to your car with Android users, even from an iPhone.

Source: BMW

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) originated in the automotive industry with pioneers such as 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, it was impossible to share a digital key between the two ecosystems.

The functionality has even been expanded Digital Key Pluswhich utilizes the ability ultra-broadband (Ultra Wideband or UWB) of some smartphones. UWB is a very high-frequency, short-range wireless communication protocol that is characterized by extremely more accurate localization than Bluetooth or WiFi. In addition, it is an energy-saving technology.

BMW is far from alone in offering this function. This is, for example, the case with the Tesla Model 3, where it is possible, via the Tesla application, to download in some way the key to be able to unlock his vehicle. On BMW’s side, your key can be stored in your Apple Wallet and can also simply be sharedby sending it via iMessage to one of your relatives or friends who will be able to unlock and start the car.

Android and iPhone, on the same level

However, this feature was only available for iPhone users. From now on, BMW enables the sharing of a BMW digital key between iPhone and Android smartphones. It’s better late than never.

The new feature will be available for all new vehicles equipped with BMW digital key Where 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.

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