Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Samsung Galaxy phones used as a key on BMWs

Samsung turns Galaxy phones into BMW car keys

If you own both a recent Samsung Galaxy phone and also own a recent BMW, your phone could be your way of opening doors. Literally.

Almost three years after iOS 14 granted iPhone owners the ability to open select cars with their phones, Android is getting the same. Kinda sorta.

The news comes from Samsung, which is rolling out support for “Digital Key”, a feature that will leverage the Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology used in Google Pay and Samsung Pay, and also use the ultra-wide band (UWB) tech in the locator beacon gadgets, bringing it together to allow owners of select phones and select cars the ability to use a phone as a car key.

It’s an addition to Android on specific Samsung phones, namely any Galaxy S21 model, any S22, and any S23 model including this year’s S23 Ultra, plus the S20 models that weren’t the S20 FE, the Galaxy Note 20 models, and any of the Galaxy Z Flip models (such as the Z Flip 5G and Z Flip 4) and the Z Fold models, as well.

If you own one of those and have updated to Android 13 since you had it (or bought it like that), you’ll just need a BMW from the past four years with support for BMW Teleservices, BMW Comfort Access, or BMW Digital Key.

Samsung Galaxy phones used as a key on BMWs

Back when the feature first rolled out in 2019 for the iPhone, it could be activated on BMW X-, Z-, and M-series cars.

A few years on, it should be available on a few more, with BMW noting that “almost all BMW models produced from the end of July 2020 are compatible”.

With the technology switched on, however, those phones will become a key for the door and for turning on the car, placing a phone on the compatible wireless charging pad inside the car to get it going.

“The Samsung Wallet Digital Key solution helps simplify the everyday experience for our customers and provides them with convenience and peace of mind through a central and secure hub within their smartphones,” said Garry McGregor, Vice President of Mobile Experience at Samsung in Australia.

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