Apple Car Key: how it works and which iPhone and Apple Watch are compatible


If you have an iPhone or Apple Watch, it will soon be possible to make your device a real key to open, close and start your car. And the first brand to implement the functionality is the German manufacturer BMW.

The 9to5Mac website explains how this new feature of Apple products works, and when and on what devices it will be available. This was officially revealed during the last WWDC.

The purpose of Car Key

Replacing car keys is the main objective of Car Key. After you can leave your wallet at home if you pay with Apple Pay, the future will also be interacting with your vehicle using your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Apple Car Key

Thanks to NFC technology, just touch your device to the car to open it. And if you have an iPhone 11 or higher, you won’t even have to take the terminal out of your pocket to turn it on and put it into operation.

With regard to security, a single token will be used that is shared between your iPhone and your car. In addition, your location and Apple ID will be used so that there are no flaws. The Car Key will also work for an additional five hours if you run out of battery on your iPhone.

As with your cards, Car Keys will be managed through your Wallet. However, it will always be necessary that you have the manufacturer’s app installed on your device.

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Apple Car Key

Models compatible with Car Key:

  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • Apple Watch Series 5

The BMW 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M, and Z4 manufactured after July 2020 will also be compatible.

When will it be available

This feature was introduced in conjunction with iOS 14. However, it will be available to users as soon as they start receiving the final version of iOS 13.6 which arrives very soon.

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