BMW’s Digital Key Plus is finally available for Android
Last year BMW debuted Digital Key Plus for the iPhone, a feature that gives BMW drivers the ability to lock and unlock their car and remotely start it from their iPhone or Apple Watch. When it launched, there was a promise of bringing it to Android phones, and today that promise became a reality for some devices.
The technology uses ultra-wideband technology (UWB) to enable secure communication between the phone and the car. Today’s update brings the feature to select Samsung and Google Pixel devices running Android 13 or later with support for ultra-wideband. Specifically, the feature will work on the Galaxy S23+, S23 Ultra, S22+, S22 Ultra, S21+, S21 Ultra, Z Fold 4, Z Fold 3, Note 20 Ultra (in markets with Samsung Wallet), and Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro.
Beyond phone limitations, it also only works on vehicles produced in November 2022 and beyond, with a future software update scheduled to bring compatibility to some older models.
Setup is done through the My BMW app. Once activated, Digital Key Plus can work as a replacement for your physical key. The feature can be programmed to do things like unlock your vehicle as you approach it, so you don’t have to worry about digging around in your bag for your keys or your phone. Likewise, it can also be programmed to lock as you walk away from the vehicle, preventing those late-night trips out to the driveway to confirm that you did in fact lock the doors when you got home with all those groceries.
BMW says that the precision of UWB means that “the risk of relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, is virtually eliminated,” making it a safe replacement for traditional keys. It can also be set up to work with up to five other users with compatible iOS or Android devices, if others In your home also use the same vehicle, so you don’t have to pass around keys.