Apple Announces CarKey

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Apple Emily Schubert CarKey

It was leaked in February, but now Apple has officially announced its new CarKey function to be available in the upcoming iOS 14 as well as iOS 13.

With Apple CarKey, you put away your keys, and let your iPhone take over.  It works through Near Field Communication (NFC).  Hold the phone close to the car and tap on it to open the car door.   When inside, you place the phone on a wireless charging pad and press the ignition button to start.

The first car to support the feature will be the 2021 BMW 5 series that launches next month.

If the car goes missing, simply turn off your keys remotely via the cloud. If you lose a key there’s no trip to the car dealer.   You can share access to the car with friends and family via iMessage from wherever you are. And you can set different limitations for each user, so a teen might get certain restrictions.

“We want this to work in any car.  We’re working on a standard with industry groups,” said Apple during its virtual Worldwide Developers Conference  (WWDC) today.

Apple will use its UI chip with ultra wideband technology to let you keep the phone in your bag or pocket and still unlock the car, it said. Expect to see that feature next year.


Apple also announced at its WWDC that CarPlay is now available in 97 percent of new cars in the US.

The feature has “transformed the driving experience,” it said.

In the upcoming iOS 14 update, CarPlay will get new app categories on the home screen including Parking, EV Charging and Quick Food for food ordering apps.

CarPlay also gets new wall paper options.


Photo: Apple Senior Manager Car Experience Engineering Emily Schubert explains Apple CarKey

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