BMW has worked closely with tech giants Google and Apple to make the Digital Key more usable by adding support for sharing across iPhone and Android devices. Until now, this was only possible via Apple iMessage. With the latest update, the key can be sent by text, email or a messaging app like WhatsApp. Even better, the recipient doesn’t need a BMW ID or a specific app to access the key.
If the sender and receiver are together, the Digital Key can also be passed via Apple AirDrop or Android Near Share. For security reasons, BMW points out that an activation code may be required in certain situations. The cross-platform key sharing capability is available for all new models equipped with the BMW Digital Key or BMW Digital Key Plus.
For older compatible vehicles, the feature will be unlocked after a remote software upgrade. These cars must have an infotainment system running on software version “22-11” or newer. Initially, it will only work on iPhones with iOS 16.1 or later and the following Google smartphones: Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro with Android 13 or later.
The good news is that Samsung devices will be added soon. BMW has already worked with the South Korean company to implement the functionality and will be available soon. It’s unclear which smartphones will be compatible, but logic tells us that the most recent Galaxy S devices will work.
The German luxury brand has teamed up with Apple, Google and Samsung as part of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to turn a smartphone into a digital key for easy access. As some of you will recall, the Digital Key was initially only available for iOS before adding Android support for select Samsung and Google smartphones late last year.