Apple officially announced its new Car Key feature at WWDC 2020 last month, teasing that BMW drivers would be the first people able to use it. Now, the BMW Connected app for iPhone and Apple Watch has been updated with support for Car Key.
In the release notes for today’s update to the Connected application, BMW explains that users will be able to create their Car Key in the application, then access it from the Wallet app on their iPhone or from Apple Watch. Here’s how BMW explains it in the release notes for today’s update:
At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference BMW and Apple announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use iPhone as a fully digital car key. The strong relationship of both companies led to a real BMW car key stored securely on iPhone in Apple Wallet.
The BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable you to lock and unlock your car by holding iPhone up to the door handle and start it up by placing iPhone in the smartphone tray. The car owner can also share access to up to 5 friends. The Digital Key will be also available via your Apple Watch. Setup of the Digital Key can be done through the BMW Connected App while the Digital Key is stored in Apple Wallet after setup.
BMW explains that the Car Key functionality is available for a “broad range of models,” including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1, 2020. So while this is a “broad range” of different cars, it is limited to only the newest models manufactured. BMW says you can check to see if your car is compatible via the vehicle tab in the BMW Connected application.
Finally, what’s important to keep in mind here is that Car Key will require that your iPhone is running iOS 13.6, which is not yet available to the general public. iOS 13.6 is currently in developer and public beta testing, but its release is clearly imminent given today’s BMW Connected update.
Once iOS 13.6 is readily available to everyone, BMW drivers will be able to lock and unlock their car via their iPhone or Apple Watch, as well as to start the car when the iPhone is placed in the car’s smartphone tray. You can also share access to other people via iMessage and put certain restrictions such as speed limits in place.
The BMW Connected application is available on the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch as a free download. We’ll be sure to update you when iOS 13.6 is officially made available.
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