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How your iPhone can soon replace your car keys



  A woman holding an iPhone at the wheel of a car.
Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com

Imagine using your iPhone or Apple Watch to start your car, so you don't have to wear a keyfob. Apple is working on a & # 39; CarKey & # 39; feature in the iOS 1

3.4 beta, which allows you to add car keys to the Wallet app.

This function can also be used on Android phones. Apple is part of the "Car Connectivity Consortium", which has created a standard for digital keys. Aside from Apple and car manufacturers, the members of the consortium also include Samsung and LG Electronics.

Standardizing what is already possible

Using your phone to unlock and start your car is not a new idea. It's not even a new technology: today you can buy cars & # 39; s that & # 39; digital keys & # 39; support.

For example, if you have a Tesla, you can use the Tesla app to unlock your car and start it from your phone. Audi offers its own app that allows you to unlock your car with your phone. The installation process can be confusing depending on your car manufacturer. The system is fragmented and car manufacturers must develop this function themselves for their cars.

Go to the CarKey feature from Apple, which will implement this in an easy-to-install, standardized way. You can even share your car key with someone else with an iPhone.

How CarKey Will Work

As indicated by 9to5Mac, the latest iOS 13.4 beta & # 39; s refer to a "CarKey" API to which car manufacturers can connect. If your car supports CarKey and has an NFC reader, you can unlock and start your car by bringing your phone close to the vehicle. With Near Field Communication (NFC) no network connection is required.

You do not have to unlock your phone to unlock your car by default. But for extra security you can configure it to require Face ID.

The linking process sounds like it will be simple. You still need to have your car manufacturer's app installed. If it is compatible with CarKey, you can open the Wallet app and go through the pairing process. You place the iPhone on the NFC reader in your car. Your car key is available for use in the Wallet app on your iPhone and you can then add it to your Apple Watch – if you want.

CarKey also looks forward to sharing your keys with other people. From your Wallet you can share the key with someone else with an iPhone. They can unlock, lock and start your car, and you don't even have to hand in your key ring.

RELATED: What is NFC (Near Field Communication) and what Can I use it?

When do you get CarKey?

An active CarKey function appears to be part of iOS 13.4. Apple released the first beta for developers of this update on February 5, 2020. Based on earlier release cycles, we expect a stable version of iOS 13.4 in the coming months. Expect it before mid-2020.

It is possible that CarKey is of course not included in the latest iOS 13.4 update. If it takes more time in the oven, it should still arrive through iOS 14, which will be the next major update. Based on Apple's release schedule & # 39; s, we expect Apple to release iOS 14 in September 2020.

CarKey does not necessarily need new hardware. If a car has built-in NFC hardware, car manufacturers must be able to update their apps to support CarKey. Apple has not yet officially announced CarKey, but it is possible that many existing cars will get this feature.

Expect an official announcement about CarKey and the car manufacturers that will support it sometime in 2020.


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