Yet another day and yet another beta release from Apple. Yes, Apple just released the first beta version of iOS 13.4 for developers and the folks over at 9to5Mac have found evidence for a new feature that could totally change the way you unlock your car. Yes, the new feature might let you use your iPhone, your iPod Touch, or your Apple Watch as a key to unlock and lock the car.
The iOS 13.4 build contains references to a “CarKey” API that will let Apple’s mobile devices with NFC-compatible cars. Using the iPhone or the Apple Watch users will not only be able to lock or unlock cars but also start the car.
The pairing process is said to be done via the Apple Wallet app. But, for the process to be completed, it will be necessary to have the car manufacturer’s companion application. During setup, users will have to place the iPhone on top of the NFC reader of the car. Once this setup is completed, users will also be able to add this key to their Apple Watch that also has support for NFC.
Another interesting feature is the ability to temporarily share keys with people you like. For instance, if you want a cousin to be able to access your car, you could simply invite them through the Wallet application to let them have access to the key on their iPhone.
Also, another thing you need to know is that this process will not require authentication via FaceID. This means that you’ll still be able to use your iPhone to unlock/lock the car even when the phone is powered off and doesn’t have juice left.
But don’t expect this to work universally yet. Apple will have to work with car manufacturers for this feature. And as far as the launch is concerned, it will likely be available when iOS 13.4 is officially released.