BMW made an announcement today stating that their Digital Key Plus technology, which was formerly restricted to Apple devices, is now accessible for Android users. The owners of certain Samsung and Google Pixel models, including older versions, can now experience the ease of locking, unlocking, and starting their BMW cars without having to remove their phones from their pockets.
With this feature, owners of compatible Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, as well as the Google Pixel 7 Pro and select older models, will have the convenience of unlocking, locking, and starting their BMW vehicles without having to take their phones out of their pockets. This feature has been available on Apple devices since 2021 and is now making its way to the Android ecosystem, bringing a new level of accessibility and convenience to BMW owners.
BMW’s Digital Key Plus technology provides a seamless experience for unlocking, locking, and starting a BMW vehicle without needing to take out the traditional key from one’s pocket. The technology uses a user’s smartphone as a key, and now, Android users can also take advantage of this feature. When the user approaches or moves away from the vehicle, the system reacts automatically. In some vehicles, the feature even mimics the light display of the physical key, including the orchestrated lighting of the front and rear lights and the light carpet.
The technology behind Digital Key Plus relies on ultra-wideband (UWB), a digital radio technology that operates over short distances with high bandwidth, allowing for precise localization and enhanced security. This technology greatly reduces the risk of a relay attack, which is when the radio signal is intercepted or jammed, making it almost impossible for anyone to gain unauthorized access to the vehicle.
BMW has made its Digital Key Plus technology compatible with Android devices for its vehicles manufactured from November 2022. This means that Samsung Galaxy S23+/Ultra and Google Pixel 7 Pro users, as well as those with older models with the appropriate hardware, can now use their smartphones to unlock, lock, and start their BMW cars. In the future, a remote over-the-air software upgrade will be available to expand the technology’s reach to cars built before November 2022.
Here are the Android devices that are compatible with BMW’s Digital Key Plus technology:
- Google Pixel 7 Pro
- Google Pixel 6 Pro (running Android 13.1 or later).
- Samsung Galaxy S23+
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S22+
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S21+
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Samsung Z Fold4
- Samsung Z Fold3
- Samsung Note20 Ultra (in markets with Samsung Wallet)