Published on December 30th, 2022 | by Subhash Nair0
BMW Digital Key Can Now Be Shared Between iOS And Android Devices
The BMW Digital Key makes a small technological leap.
Android and iOS are two competing smartphone operating systems that just don’t play nicely with each other. Anyone who has ever made the switch from one to the other will realise just how tough moving data between the two can be. Even WhatsApp backups are lost in the swap without 3rd party workarounds! So it’s no surprise that the BMW Digital Key has been also stuck behind the ‘walled garden’ for so long. This week that changes with Remote Software Upgrade “22-11”.
BMW Group has announced that the BMW Digital Key can now be shared between phones with competing operating systems. Previously, the key was shared through Apple’s secure iMessage system only. Now, the key is shared through the app’s own native “share” function that can be sent via e-mail, SMS, WhatsApp or any other messaging service.
The recepient does not require any specific app or a BMW ID. They just have to click on the link. It can also be shared via AirDrop between iOS devices and on Nearby Share between Android devices.
Here’s the press release with more information.
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.