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Home / Tech / Apple’s leaked iOS 14 codes reveal BMW as a ‘Carkey’ partner

Apple’s leaked iOS 14 codes reveal BMW as a ‘Carkey’ partner

Apple seems to be working with BMW for the ‘Carkey’ feature. The automaker can be the first to get bring this feature onboard once iOS 14 is live for end users.

tech Updated: Mar 24, 2020 15:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Apple seems to be working with BMW for the ‘Carkey’ feature. The automaker can be the first to get bring this feature onboard once iOS 14 is live for end users.
Apple seems to be working with BMW for the ‘Carkey’ feature. The automaker can be the first to get bring this feature onboard once iOS 14 is live for end users. (Picjumbo)

Last month it was discovered that Apple is working on an iOS feature that will essentially make their iPhones a car key that can lock and unlock the connected vehicles. While that was found in iOS 13.4 beta version, a new evidence has been found in the leaked iOS 14 codes about the same feature but with slightly more information. As reported by 9to5Mac website, Apple seems to be working with BMW for the ‘Carkey’ feature. The automaker can be the first to bring this feature onboard once iOS 14 is live for end users. We expect the OS version to hit the eligible iPhones and iPad tablets later this year.

When asked about it, BMW did not deny the fact but didn’t confirm it either, raising the speculations. “Please understand that at this point we cannot confirm your request nor give you further details. We would like to refer you to our press release.”

The press release being talked about in the official BMW’s statement is from December last year and states company’s efforts to adopt to new technology using which people can access their car functions with a smartphone.

Also read: Apple is aware of Personal Hotspot connectivity issues in iOS 13: Report

“The BMW Group took a leading role in the seamless integration of smart devices and the customers’ digital ecosystem in the early stages. Providing customers with simple, connected and “keyless” access to their vehicles has been a key area of innovation. Today, it is already possible to lock and unlock the vehicle, start the engine and share the key with others using the BMW Digital Key as part of BMW Connected on the smartphone. But this is only the first step in a global technological transformation being shaped and led by the BMW Group,” states the release.

BMW even mentioned how the Car Connectivity Consortium is responsible for standardizing the new Digital Key feature used between the car and the connected device. And interestingly, Apple is one of the charter member companies of CCC. Other companies include Audi, BMW, General Motors, HYUNDAI, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung, and Volkswagen, and core members including ALPS ELECTRIC, Continental Automotive GmbH, DENSO, Gemalto, NXP, and Qualcomm Incorporated.

Also read: Apple iOS 14 to feature a redesigned multi-tasking menu

While the Digital Key 2.0 is already out, we expect Apple and BMW to come with the next version (3.0) that may require Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) to work. And in case you don’t know, iPhone 11 and later models feature UWB chip.

As explained by BMW, “In the near future, Digital Key specification will be enhanced by the ultra-wideband (UWB)-based release 3.0. This will offer maximum anti-theft protection and enable precise localisation between the device and the vehicle. As a result, the mobile phone must no longer be held directly up to the door handle to unlock the car, but can conveniently be left in the pocket.”