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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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