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During their Worldwide Developers Conference Apple announced that there will be a digital key feature in iOS 14. They also confirmed that they're partnering with BMW and that the digital key will first be available for BMW vehicles.

I've never been one to use my phone as key but this technology does fascinate me. How many people on here use their phones regularly as their key?


The digital key promises to be secure and function up to five hours after an iPhone shuts off due to a low battery. BMW will also offer a wide range of support as “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4” models manufactured after July 1st, 2020 will support the digital key in 45 countries. Of course, you’ll also need a relatively new Apple device including an iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer. The digital key can also be used on the Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.

Apple also confirmed they’re working on the next-generation digital key which uses Ultra Wideband technology for “spatial awareness delivered through the U1 chip.” That doesn’t sound too interesting, but it will allow people to unlock their car without first removing their iPhone from their pocket or purse. It will be available next year and we’ll likely hear more about it closer to launch.

In other news, BMW and Apple announced “smart routes” for electric vehicles using Apple Maps. Drivers can use Apple CarPlay to select a destination and Apple Maps will then “pick the optimal route based on electric range and the locations of charging stations along the way.” The new feature will be launched on the upcoming BMW i4 which arrives next year.
 

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The only problem with using your phone as an automatic key is the "dead battery of the phone" -situation. Tesla has - of course - solved this problem. Spare key is in the form of a credit card and can be stored in your wallet.
 

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Well you do get ordinary keys, BMW is not as stingy as Tesla ;) as it says up here, you can still unlock it for five hours after your phone dies. Not sure how that’ll work.
 

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So if I understand this correctly, you have to keep your phone at very close distance to the door handle. So it would not be possible to just carry your phone on you or in your luggage?
 

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I can’t quite get my head around how it works. It seems that the phone will unlock with a tap on the door, the key in your pocket will unlock within 2-3m and the key card will work with a tap on the lock too. In an ideal world I’d like to leave the keys in a locked safe in the house once initial set up has been done and just use the phone and key card without having to get them our my pocket but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
 

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You probably will be able to open the car from a distance with your phone instead of tapping as well. I read that they will expand the key functionality with the ‘U1’ chip in newer phones that will know where you are in relation to things. So maybe it can work more like the normal comfort access in the future.
 

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I can’t quite get my head around how it works. It seems that the phone will unlock with a tap on the door, the key in your pocket will unlock within 2-3m and the key card will work with a tap on the lock too. In an ideal world I’d like to leave the keys in a locked safe in the house once initial set up has been done and just use the phone and key card without having to get them our my pocket but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
You don't need the physical car key on you. If I remember correctly, you can even grant access to for example your kids if they have the BMW app on their phone, then give them "guest access" to the car if they have their phone on them.
 

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You don't need the physical car key on you. If I remember correctly, you can even grant access to for example your kids if they have the BMW app on their phone, then give them "guest access" to the car if they have their phone on them.
That’s the hope. Just hope that the phone can be kept in the pocket as well otherwise it makes more sense to keep the physical key as that opens as you walk up. It would be great not to have to carry keys but I must admit to being wary of being a long way from home with no physical car key and relying on a card or phone.
 

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That’s the hope. Just hope that the phone can be kept in the pocket as well otherwise it makes more sense to keep the physical key as that opens as you walk up. It would be great not to have to carry keys but I must admit to being wary of being a long way from home with no physical car key and relying on a card or phone.
With my current Tesla Model 3 Performance, I always also take the key card with me as well as my phone. Just in case the phone unlock doesn't work. That said, it's always been 100% good with the phone key.
 

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With my current Tesla Model 3 Performance, I always also take the key card with me as well as my phone. Just in case the phone unlock doesn't work. That said, it's always been 100% good with the phone key.
Same success rate for me - if there has been battery left in the phone. And then the credit card in your wallet saves the day. Could not imagine anything is more handy than just carrying your phone in your pocket and the doors will open and gear shifter just works. No touching anything with your key, card, finger or phone. Some things about Tesla are just bad design and poor quality, but others pure genius.
 

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Unlock your BMW even with a dead phone with Digital Key 2.0 - Auto News BMW introduces new Digital Key 2.0 for mobile phones, will work even with a dead battery www.autoindustriya.com
The photos in this link also indicate that the phone needs to be held very close to the door handle.
I wonder how this works with the automatic opening of the trunk with a kick of the foot underneath the car. As I understand this functionality is standard on the i4. Great help of course when you have your hands full with groceries. But this might only work if you have the key on you. So either BMW has not considered this very well, or the phone will be able to unlock at some distance after all.
 

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The photos in this link also indicate that the phone needs to be held very close to the door handle.
I wonder how this works with the automatic opening of the trunk with a kick of the foot underneath the car. As I understand this functionality is standard on the i4. Great help of course when you have your hands full with groceries. But this might only work if you have the key on you. So either BMW has not considered this very well, or the phone will be able to unlock at some distance after all.
No it is not a standard (at least in PL) it needs S0322 package (in my order part of S0ZBC)
BUT that is not enough to have Apple car key - you must order induction tray (S06NX) to have it working - as iPhone pairing happens on that tray only
 

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No it is not a standard (at least in PL) it needs S0322 package (in my order part of S0ZBC)
BUT that is not enough to have Apple car key - you must order induction tray (S06NX) to have it working - as iPhone pairing happens on that tray only
Very different part codes in each country. Over here it would require the comfort access package and maybe the wireless charging tray. Luckily I ordered both.
Question still remains whether this will allow unlocking without taking your iPhone out of your pocket. Time will tell I guess.
 
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