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Apple is Working on a ‘CarKey’ Feature That Will Work With iPhones and NFC Alone

Apple is allegedly developing a new technology that will help users ease their everyday life. The tech giant is working on a ‘CarKey‘ functionality that will be implemented with the iOS 13.4 beta, which will allow you to add car keys to the Wallet application.

The feature may also be available to Android mobile devices in the future. Apple is part of the ‘Car Connectivity Consortium,’ which developed a digital key model, and besides Apple and car manufacturers, the alliance also has Samsung and LG Electronics as members.

Making Something Possible the Norm

Using a mobile device to unlock and start your car is not a brand new idea, nor a new technology as you can purchase cars that support ‘digital keys’ nowadays. For instance, owners of a Tesla car have the Tesla app that allows them to unlock and start their car using their phones. Audi is also providing its cars owners with an app that unlocks the vehicle from a mobile device.

Varying on the car manufacturer, the setup process can not be that simple, but rather fragmented, and the producers have to create this feature for their cars by themselves. But with Apple’s CarKey, you can use this easily, and even share your car key with someone else who owns an iPhone.

How Will the CarKey Feature Work?

According to 9to5Mac, the most recent iOS 13.4 betas mention a ‘CarKey’ API that car manufacturers can connect to. If their car allows access to CarKey and has an NFC reader, users will be able to unlock, as well as stars their vehicle just by having the smartphone close to the car.

Apparently, there is no need to unlock the mobile device to proceed with the above-mentioned actions. However, for additional security, you can set it to require Face ID. The connecting process seems to be incredibly simple. Users will need the car manufacturer’s app installed on their devices, and if it is supporting CarKey, launching the Wallet app will get them through the pairing process.

The iPhone then needs to be placed on top of the NFC reader in the car, and the car key will be accessible for use in the Wallet app on the smartphone. Moreover, the feature can be added to Apple Watch.

When Will the Feature Launch?

A developing CarKey functionality seems to be a part of iOS 13.4. Apple launched the first developer beta of the update this month on the 5th, and considering the prior release periods, a stable variant of iOS 13.4 will appear in the following months.

There is, however, a chance that CarKey won’t be part of the official iOS 13.4 update if it needs to be refined and worked on some more. It should then launch in the iOS 14, which will be the upcoming significant update. Based on the tech giant’s release cycles, the iOS 14 could be launched in September of this year.

CarKey won’t really need new hardware; if a car supports NFC, it should be possible for car creators to update their applications to allow the CarKey function in them. Apple has not officially revealed CarKey as of yet, but it is possible that numerous cars of today will get this functionality.

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