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      06-22-2020, 02:08 PM   #1
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BMW Announces Digital Key Support for iPhone to Lock, Unlock, Drive and Share Keys

Featured today at Apple's annual World Wide Developer's Conference, Apple introduced a new feature which will first appear on the new 2021 5-series called "Car Key."

Essentially this will allow you to use your iPhone as a car key for your BMW, and even share it with others. Using Apple's U1 Chip technology, when placing your iPhone against an NFC sensor of the car (such as the door handle) after authenticating through Face/Touch ID, the car will automatically lock/unlock once in contact. Placing the iPhone in the car's wireless charging tray and then of pressing the start stop button will then start the car. The digital key can also be shared with other Apple users through iMessage with the ability to then turn on and off certain restrictions to different users (for example, teen drivers). If your iPhone is lost or stolen, the feature can easily be disabled via iCloud.

"Car Key" will first reach the 2021 5-series, and will likely be expanded throughout the BMW lineup, as well as other automakers, and can be used on iOS 13 and 14.

[Update per BMW press release below: this will be available in 45 countries for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020.]




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OFFICIAL BMW PRESS RELEASE:


BMW announces support for Digital Key for iPhone. A secure and easy way to use iPhone as a car key to lock, unlock, drive, and share keys with friends.

Munich/Cupertino. At today’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference it was announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use iPhone as a fully digital car key. BMW was the first to integrate iPod in their vehicles, first to offer wireless CarPlay and now first to introduce support for BMW Digital Key stored securely in Apple Wallet for iPhone.


BMW Digital Key for the iPhone.

The upcoming BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable customers to just tap to unlock and easily get going by placing the iPhone in the smartphone tray and pushing the start button. Setup of the Digital Key can be done through the BMW Smartphone App. The car owner can also share access with up to 5 friends including a configurable car access option for young drivers which restricts top speed, horse power, maximum radio volume and more. Management of access can be done from inside the car as well as through Apple Wallet.

Additional features of the new Digital Key include:
- Storage in the Secure Element of your iPhone and access through Apple Wallet
- Power reserve for iPhone where car keys will still function for up to five hours if
the iPhone turns off due to low battery
- Ability to share access with up to 5 friends via iMessage
- Apple Watch compatibility

BMW is a leading contributors to the Digital Key standard.

The BMW Group was quick to recognise the potential of smartphones as digital keys – if done right. Standardizing the Digital Key contributes to user experience, security and availability in smartphone models all of which were key to the BMW Group strategy for the Digital Key right from the start. Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to press ahead with the establishment of global standards. The Digital Key specification 2.0 for NFC has been released in May 2020 while the next generation of Digital Key using Ultra Wideband technology is already well underway.

Broad availability for BMW models and iPhones.

BMW is excited to announce the availability of Digital Key for iPhone in 45 countries for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.
For more information please visit www.bmw.com/digitalkey

Also announced: smart routes for BMW electric vehicles in Apple Maps.

At today's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, BMW and Apple also announced a new feature that will make it easier than ever for CarPlay users to take BMW electric vehicles on longer journeys by automatically taking into account when and where to charge. Drivers can plan their trip in advance on their iPhone or simply enter their destination through Apple CarPlay when they get into the car; either way, Apple Maps will pick the optimal route based on electric range and the locations of charging stations along the way. This seamless, simple feature will first be available for BMW in the fully electric BMW i4 launching next year.

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      06-22-2020, 02:24 PM   #2
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Interesting. Testing shows it was functional at one time with i8 when Apple Key was first announced.

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      06-22-2020, 02:25 PM   #3
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So this won't be retroactively available on the G20? It already has NFC (used for Android users) so I can't understand why it couldn't work?
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      06-22-2020, 02:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
So this won't be retroactively available on the G20? It already has NFC (used for Android users) so I can't understand why it couldn't work?
Yeah I was a bit surprised when they said only the new 5er would have it. I would have thought that it would maybe apply to all 2021 models and vehicles already included with NFC in their door handles. Still waiting on BMW to provide their official statement so maybe they will include it in an OTA update, but guess we'll have to wait and see.
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      06-22-2020, 02:57 PM   #5
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If it doesn't work on the G20 I'm going to be a little annoyed, it seems like it would just be a software update
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      06-22-2020, 03:18 PM   #6
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OFFICIAL BMW PRESS RELEASE:


BMW announces support for Digital Key for iPhone. A secure and easy way to use iPhone as a car key to lock, unlock, drive, and share keys with friends.

Munich/Cupertino. At today’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference it was announced that BMW will become the first carmaker to enable its customers to use iPhone as a fully digital car key. BMW was the first to integrate iPod in their vehicles, first to offer wireless CarPlay and now first to introduce support for BMW Digital Key stored securely in Apple Wallet for iPhone.


BMW Digital Key for the iPhone.

The upcoming BMW Digital Key for the iPhone will enable customers to just tap to unlock and easily get going by placing the iPhone in the smartphone tray and pushing the start button. Setup of the Digital Key can be done through the BMW Smartphone App. The car owner can also share access with up to 5 friends including a configurable car access option for young drivers which restricts top speed, horse power, maximum radio volume and more. Management of access can be done from inside the car as well as through Apple Wallet.

Additional features of the new Digital Key include:
- Storage in the Secure Element of your iPhone and access through Apple Wallet
- Power reserve for iPhone where car keys will still function for up to five hours if
the iPhone turns off due to low battery
- Ability to share access with up to 5 friends via iMessage
- Apple Watch compatibility

BMW is a leading contributors to the Digital Key standard.

The BMW Group was quick to recognise the potential of smartphones as digital keys – if done right. Standardizing the Digital Key contributes to user experience, security and availability in smartphone models all of which were key to the BMW Group strategy for the Digital Key right from the start. Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to press ahead with the establishment of global standards. The Digital Key specification 2.0 for NFC has been released in May 2020 while the next generation of Digital Key using Ultra Wideband technology is already well underway.

Broad availability for BMW models and iPhones.

BMW is excited to announce the availability of Digital Key for iPhone in 45 countries for a broad range of models: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020. Compatible iPhone models will be iPhone XR, iPhone XS or newer and Apple Watch Series 5 or newer.
For more information please visit www.bmw.com/digitalkey

Also announced: smart routes for BMW electric vehicles in Apple Maps.

At today's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, BMW and Apple also announced a new feature that will make it easier than ever for CarPlay users to take BMW electric vehicles on longer journeys by automatically taking into account when and where to charge. Drivers can plan their trip in advance on their iPhone or simply enter their destination through Apple CarPlay when they get into the car; either way, Apple Maps will pick the optimal route based on electric range and the locations of charging stations along the way. This seamless, simple feature will first be available for BMW in the fully electric BMW i4 launching next year.

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      06-22-2020, 03:53 PM   #7
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Let’s see if BMW requires a fee for the iPhone digital key (similar to the now-scrapped CarPlay fee). Currently they charge $20/year for the digital key card feature on the G20.
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      06-22-2020, 04:06 PM   #8
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Stupid that it's not backward compatible for the G20 grrr
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      06-22-2020, 04:09 PM   #9
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Wonder if they can do a similar integration for cars already equipped with connectedrive! Would be a nice update to the f series
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      06-22-2020, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9M71 View Post
Wonder if they can do a similar integration for cars already equipped with connectedrive! Would be a nice update to the f series
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      06-22-2020, 04:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
So this won't be retroactively available on the G20? It already has NFC (used for Android users) so I can't understand why it couldn't work?
I imagine it will work for all cars that support BMW DigitalKey since this is banded as the same product except it will support iOS and Android.
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      06-22-2020, 04:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
So this won't be retroactively available on the G20? It already has NFC (used for Android users) so I can't understand why it couldn't work?
As of July 1, 2020 production across the model line.
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      06-22-2020, 05:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ibiza View Post
As of July 1, 2020 production across the model line.
I hope this isn't limited to cars made after 7/1. It would make no sense for it to be so and would be a blow to BMW offering RSU support on many cars.

For instance, why would a BMW 3 series with Digital Key support today not support this? The only thing that seems to be added here is support on the BMW Connected App for iOS to support adding this to iOS CarKey.

Tesla is able to deliver updates and RSU was designed to counter this perception. If BMW drops the ball it won't help them win over customers who are deflecting to Tesla.
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      06-22-2020, 05:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LogicalApex View Post
I hope this isn't limited to cars made after 7/1.
Could be related to a new part regarding Comfort Access option (SA 322) or Connected Drive Services (SA 6AE).

With BMW, anything is possible. I'm shocked that cars that have the iDrive 7 wireless charging won't have this— looking at the 8 series iPhone owners.

Maybe a retro fit part? Doubt it could be coded due to the security.
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      06-22-2020, 05:42 PM   #15
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I'm very confused as to how this is more convenient. Now my fob never leaves my pocket. I can lock, unlock and start my cars without ever taking something out of my pocket. I rarely even take my phone out of my pocket unless it really needs to be charged. Why would I want to have to constantly take my phone out, unlock it with Face ID, place it near the door handle then put it in the wireless charger to start the car? Then I have to remember to take it with me every time. Do you know how many times I would leave it in the car when the car was parked in the garage since I don't have lock it? I'd rather they design cases for phones that act like the fob so I can carry my phone only (no fob) the phone never has to leave my pocket either.

Unless this is using Face ID as an additional security feature. But it is not more convenient.
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      06-22-2020, 05:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimSimma335 View Post
I'm very confused as to how this is more convenient. Now my fob never leaves my pocket. I can lock, unlock and start my cars without ever taking something out of my pocket. I rarely even take my phone out of my pocket unless it really needs to be charged. Why would I want to have to constantly take my phone out. Unlock it with Face ID. Place near the door handle then put it in the wireless charger to start the car. Then have to remember to take it with me every time. Do you how many times I would leave it in the car when the car was parked in the garage since I don't have lock it? I'd rather they design cases for phones that act like the fob.
There is an option for express unlock that doesn't require Face ID/Touch ID each time, as phones that have the UB chip based on the 3.0 protocol can remain in your pocket/bag. That's why I believe it's a hardware update for July 1, 2020 SOP.

Will also work with Apple Watch, which is even easier than a phone.

Upcoming iOS 13.6 will support Apple Car Key— don't have to wait for iOS 14.
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      06-22-2020, 05:48 PM   #17
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How is the G20 not able to get this as a software update!?! It's just NFC...
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      06-22-2020, 05:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibiza View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimSimma335 View Post
I'm very confused as to how this is more convenient. Now my fob never leaves my pocket. I can lock, unlock and start my cars without ever taking something out of my pocket. I rarely even take my phone out of my pocket unless it really needs to be charged. Why would I want to have to constantly take my phone out. Unlock it with Face ID. Place near the door handle then put it in the wireless charger to start the car. Then have to remember to take it with me every time. Do you how many times I would leave it in the car when the car was parked in the garage since I don't have lock it? I'd rather they design cases for phones that act like the fob.
There is an option for express unlock that doesn't require Face ID/Touch ID each time, as phones that have the UB chip based on the 3.0 protocol can remain in your pocket/bag. That's why I believe it's a hardware update for July 1, 2020 SOP.

Will also work with Apple Watch, which is even easier than a phone.

Upcoming iOS 13.6 will support Apple Car Key— don't have to wait for iOS 14.
This!
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      06-22-2020, 06:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimSimma335 View Post
I'm very confused as to how this is more convenient. Now my fob never leaves my pocket. I can lock, unlock and start my cars without ever taking something out of my pocket. I rarely even take my phone out of my pocket unless it really needs to be charged. Why would I want to have to constantly take my phone out, unlock it with Face ID, place it near the door handle then put it in the wireless charger to start the car? Then I have to remember to take it with me every time. Do you know how many times I would leave it in the car when the car was parked in the garage since I don't have lock it? I'd rather they design cases for phones that act like the fob so I can carry my phone only (no fob) the phone never has to leave my pocket either.

Unless this is using Face ID as an additional security feature. But it is not more convenient.
I strongly agree with this statement. Also, how is no one else saying this? I get that people are goo goo for phone apps, but this is worse than comfort access
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      06-22-2020, 06:07 PM   #20
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It's a bummer that this will only work on the mentioned model lines manufactured after July 1, 2020. Probably has something to do with using the U1 chip on iPhone, not just the car's NFC (how Android uses the feature).

It's lack of hardware foresight like this that allowed Tesla to disrupt the auto industry by adding new features to ALL models, old and new, with OTA updates.

One thing I wonder about this is how will it work with valet when you only brought your phone?
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      06-22-2020, 06:09 PM   #21
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Finally iPhone to unlock and Android Auto. Now I don't have to watch whiny YouTube reviewers keep complaining about it.
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      06-22-2020, 06:10 PM   #22
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As much as I would love this feature, tying you access to your vehicle to software sounds like a bad idea to me. I have a Kevo smart lock and it uses' similar NFC communications, and doesn't work for month after an iOS update.

I can tell you that manufacturers won't keep up the rapid pace of the iOS platforms. Android Audio, a good example of how BMW has been slow to act on a feature that many would love to see.

I might be proven very wrong but I for one would be cautious and watch how this feature rolls out and gets supported. Time will tell if its EPIC new feature we can't live without or another failed IOT experiment.

Gotta love the future.
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