The BMW Group continues to promote the digitization 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. Now there is no need for a specific app or set transmission method. Instead, keys can be easily passed on to friends or family from within the wallet using the native “share” feature familiar from many apps.
This means that sharing a BMW Digital Key is now as easy as sending a link. The key can be sent by email, SMS or any other messaging service, for example WhatsApp. The recipient does not need a specific app or a BMW ID.
To add the digital key to your wallet, just click on the link. If the owner and recipient are next to each other, the key can also be shared via Apple AirDrop or Android Nearby Share. In some cases, it may be necessary to enter an activation code in the vehicle for security purposes, which the sender would ideally reveal to the recipient through another channel. Once a digital key is received on an iPhone, the recipient can add it to an Apple Watch just as easily.
The new function is available for all new vehicles with a BMW Digital Key or BMW Digital Key Plus. Older, properly 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 Update. Cross-platform sharing will initially be available for compatible iPhones and Google smartphones, with Samsung models to follow shortly.
This latest update is the result of 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 on the road to full interoperability between platforms – and towards securing the status of smartphones as digital vehicle keys.