The BMW Group is continuing to drive the digitalisation of access to its vehicles in co-development with Apple and Google. It is now possible to share a BMW Digital Key across platforms between iPhone and Android devices. Previously, keys could only be shared via Apple iMessage. There is now no longer any need for a specific app or a set method of transmission. Instead, keys can be easily passed on to friends or family from the wallet using the native “share” function known from many apps.
This means that sharing a BMW Digital Key now takes the straightforward form of sending a link. The key can be sent by e-mail, SMS or any other messaging service, e.g. WhatsApp. The recipient does not require either a specific app or a BMW ID. To add the Digital Key to their wallet, they simply click on the link. If the owner and recipient are standing next to each other, the key can also be shared via Apple AirDrop or Android Nearby Share. In certain cases, an activation code may have to be entered in the vehicle for security reasons, which the sender would ideally disclose to the recipient via a different channel. Once a digital key has been received on an iPhone, the recipient can add it to an Apple Watch just as easily.
This new function is available for all new vehicles with BMW Digital Key or BMW Digital Key Plus. Older suitably equipped vehicles will be able to make full use of this feature once their software has been updated to status “22-11” or later via Remote Software Upgrade. Cross-platform sharing will initially be available for compatible iPhones and Google smartphones*, with models from Samsung set to follow shortly.
This latest upgrade is the result of a close collaboration between BMW and its partners Apple, Google and Samsung under the umbrella of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). It marks another milestone for the BMW Digital Key en route to complete cross-platform interoperability – and towards securing the status of smartphones as digital vehicle keys.
* Apple iPhone (running iOS 16.1 or later) or Google Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro (running Android 13 or later)