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      12-01-2021, 12:04 PM   #1
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BMW Digital Key now available for Android smartphones

BMW Digital Key now available for Android smartphones

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December 1, 2021

Munich. Together with its partners BMW in the context of the Car Connectivity Consortium is continuing to press ahead with the development and distribution of the BMW Digital Key. Now the BMW digital key will be available for Android operating system-based smartphones. With this update, the number of compatible smartphone models is increasing and thus also the pool of BMW drivers who will be able to use the BMW Digital Key in the future. The BMW Digital Key is now available for Android smartphones, starting with Samsung Galaxy S21 Series and Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

With the BMW Digital Key, customers can easily unlock and lock their BMW simply by holding their smartphone next to the handle of the driver's door. The engine can also be started when the mobile phone is placed in the BMW wireless charging compartment. To ensure maximum ease of use and security, the BMW Digital Key is stored on the secure element of the smartphone. It can be easily configured via My BMW app and is then available as an option for almost all BMW models. In the next release, it will be possible to pass the key on to five friends. The functionalities of the BMW Digital Key Plus based on ultra-wide band will also be introduced for Android smartphones in a future release.

BMW has been committed to establishing global standards in the field of keyless entry systems since 2018 and is considered one of the pioneers in the use of the smartphone as a digital car key. The latest stage of development is the result of a close collaboration between BMW, Google and Samsung for further improving the ease of use and availability of the digital key. BMW is also the first manufacturer to offer a system according to the global CCC standard (Car Connectivity Consortium) that is available for both iOS and Android.

Availability of BMW Digital Key for Android smartphones:

Google Pixel 6/Pixel 6 Pro: U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore

Samsung Galaxy S21/S21+/S21 Ultra: France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.
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      12-01-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
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Too bad many of us who got our cars in 2021 won't be having the digital key feature due to it being deleted from builds. Anyways, not a big deal to me.
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      12-01-2021, 01:04 PM   #3
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I'm surprised more vehicles generally don't have this capability. I'm not a tech guru so maybe it's limited by the phone and not the cars so much but it's marginally annoying to carry a fob I never have to use.
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      12-01-2021, 01:09 PM   #4
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Doesn't seem to be available for base/6MTs according to the manual
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      12-01-2021, 01:12 PM   #5
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I have an iPhone, but it's a cool feature for Android users. At least they're keeping up with the times.
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      12-01-2021, 01:23 PM   #6
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Useless feature IMHO, given that with the "old" technology I can still walk up to the car, unlock it by merely grabbing the door handle, then start the car with the key in my pocket. The digital key requires the phone be placed in the wireless charger before allowing it to start? That's a step backwards.
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      12-01-2021, 01:30 PM   #7
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So I hope they tested it thoroughly has better security than typical keyfob.

Couple of questions:
will this work when the phone has no cell reception?
What if you lose your phone? How can you disable your digital key stored in that phone
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      12-01-2021, 02:02 PM   #8
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Good question on wiping it from a lost phone XsltAnalyst !

FWIW, this press release has one error (at least for the US market). Here, the regular Galaxy S21 lacks the ultra-wideband radio that the S21+/S21 Ultra have, so it will not work. I know other markets use different chips, but I'm not sure if the base S21 has ultra-wideband in those markets.
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      12-01-2021, 04:25 PM   #9
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finally a reason to upgrade to Pixel 6. Now waiting for a decent Pixel 6 sale....
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      12-01-2021, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R12ax7 View Post

FWIW, this press release has one error (at least for the US market). Here, the regular Galaxy S21 lacks the ultra-wideband radio that the S21+/S21 Ultra have, so it will not work. I know other markets use different chips, but I'm not sure if the base S21 has ultra-wideband in those markets.
I could be wrong, but I think it was implying the Digital Key Plus function that will be rolling out later requires UWB, where standard Digital Key works without it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post

The functionalities of the BMW Digital Key Plus based on ultra-wide band will also be introduced for Android smartphones in a future release.
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      12-01-2021, 04:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XsltAnalyst View Post
So I hope they tested it thoroughly has better security than typical keyfob.

Couple of questions:
will this work when the phone has no cell reception?
What if you lose your phone? How can you disable your digital key stored in that phone
BMW's keyfob security has been top notch for a number of years now, especially since the G20 3 Series and G05 X5 were launched where the keys can sense motion and if left stationary for a couple minutes will shut off comfort access communication.

Digital key works without cell reception because the "key" is stored on the phone. It has nothing to do with app connectivity.

If you lose your phone, but still have access to a regular key, you can go into the car and wipe out the Digital Key stored in the car. That way if someone finds your phone and knows what car you drive (odds are minuscule of BOTH of those things happening), the car will no longer recognize the phone as a key. Then, when you get a new phone and set up the key on that one, it'll knock out the first key off the old phone.
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      12-01-2021, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
Useless feature IMHO, given that with the "old" technology I can still walk up to the car, unlock it by merely grabbing the door handle, then start the car with the key in my pocket. The digital key requires the phone be placed in the wireless charger before allowing it to start? That's a step backwards.
I thought this way too until the day I was able to save a 3 hour round train trip to get my keys that I left in my jacket pocket hanging on my office door.

My phone made it so simple, didn't have to call anybody or catch 2 Ubers.

I'll never say old useless technology again.
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      12-01-2021, 05:37 PM   #13
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I'm seeing the option today
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      12-01-2021, 06:10 PM   #14
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Will this apply to all vehicles that previously had Digital Key? Ie. Pre July 2020 builds?
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      12-01-2021, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R12ax7 View Post
Good question on wiping it from a lost phone XsltAnalyst !

FWIW, this press release has one error (at least for the US market). Here, the regular Galaxy S21 lacks the ultra-wideband radio that the S21+/S21 Ultra have, so it will not work. I know other markets use different chips, but I'm not sure if the base S21 has ultra-wideband in those markets.
Based on the usage description for Digital Key (phone has to be next to the handle of drivers door to open, and placed in the wireless charging compartment to start), this appears to be some form of near-field communications (NFC) rather than ultra-wideband. UWB can work at several feet/meters.
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      12-01-2021, 06:29 PM   #16
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Saw that in the App, too. Unfortunately also saw this.

Hopefully they will soon open this up to more than the newest Google/Samsung phones.
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      12-01-2021, 08:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R12ax7 View Post
Good question on wiping it from a lost phone XsltAnalyst !

FWIW, this press release has one error (at least for the US market). Here, the regular Galaxy S21 lacks the ultra-wideband radio that the S21+/S21 Ultra have, so it will not work. I know other markets use different chips, but I'm not sure if the base S21 has ultra-wideband in those markets.
Current version of digital key uses Bluetooth and NFC. Digital Key Plus (first car is iX) incorporates UWB
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      12-01-2021, 09:03 PM   #18
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Too bad most of those phone won't fit into the wireless charging pad for the car to recognize the digital key.
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      12-02-2021, 12:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
Useless feature IMHO, given that with the "old" technology I can still walk up to the car, unlock it by merely grabbing the door handle, then start the car with the key in my pocket. The digital key requires the phone be placed in the wireless charger before allowing it to start? That's a step backwards.
Think the point here is you won't need to carry your key with you.
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      12-02-2021, 08:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
Useless feature IMHO, given that with the "old" technology I can still walk up to the car, unlock it by merely grabbing the door handle, then start the car with the key in my pocket. The digital key requires the phone be placed in the wireless charger before allowing it to start? That's a step backwards.
Think the point here is you won't need to carry your key with you.
Ultimately this also should work with wearables so you don't have to carry anything in your pocket at all.

Has anyone here had any first hand experience?
The functionality seem to have been available for a while according to these documents:

https://www.bmwusa.com/content/dam/b...DigitalKey.pdf

https://www.bmwusa.com/content/dam/b...lityMatrix.pdf
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      12-02-2021, 11:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botan22 View Post
Ultimately this also should work with wearables so you don't have to carry anything in your pocket at all.

Has anyone here had any first hand experience?
Yes, I can also unlock and start my car with my Apple watch. It's a little awkward to get my wrist to the charging tray to start it, but it also works in a pinch. I figure the more options to get in and drive, the better
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      12-02-2021, 12:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
Useless feature IMHO, given that with the "old" technology I can still walk up to the car, unlock it by merely grabbing the door handle, then start the car with the key in my pocket. The digital key requires the phone be placed in the wireless charger before allowing it to start? That's a step backwards.
Plus, as far as I've seen the digital key doesn't work very well
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