Apple announced the CarKey feature back at WWDC in 2020. Since then, while the company has rolled out the feature for iPhones and Apple Watch with U1 chip, vehicle support has been limited to select BMW vehicles. That could change starting this summer, as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes CarKey will be coming to vehicles from Hyundai from this summer.
Code found in previous iOS 15 builds has also pointed to the CarKey feature coming to non-BMW vehicles. Gurman sources believe the feature will be coming to Hyundai’s Genesis lineup of vehicles by the summer.
CarKey allows iPhone and compatible Apple Watch users to unlock their vehicle without having to use its key. They can simply walk up to their vehicle and hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to the door handle to unlock it. Thanks to Power Reserve mode, users can unlock their car within five hours after their iPhone has run out of battery.
The feature is available for iPhone 11 or later since it requires the U1 Wideband chip to work. The feature also allows iPhone users to digitally share their car keys with friends or family using iMessage. While useful, the limited vehicle support greatly handicaps the feature, which Apple is seemingly planning to change later this year. The company could possibly announce the expanded vehicle support for CarKey at WWDC 2021.
Interestingly, Apple was reportedly working with Hyundai-Kia on the Apple Car before the talks fell through due to excessive leaks.
Do you think the digital CarKey feature in iPhone is useful? Should Apple expand it to more vehicles? Or do you think it is just a gimmick?[Via PowerOn]