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This article was published on February 6, 2020


Damn, Apple’s new CarKey feature sounds cool as fuck

Stick your regular car keys up your arse, it's the future now

Damn, Apple’s new CarKey feature sounds cool as fuck
Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Editor of Plugged by TNW

Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He w Callum is an Englishman in Amsterdam, but not in the way you're thinking. He's the Editor of Plugged, TNW's consumer tech vertical. He writes about gear, gadgets, and apps — with a particular focus on Apple — and also makes the occasional odd video. Basically, he's halfway between an abrasive gadget nerd and thinky art boy.

I’ve never really been that into cars, but occasionally something crops up and grabs my attention. You know, like noise-canceling inside a vehicle, Sony announcing its own electric concept car, and, now, the fact that you’ll soon be able to use your iPhone in place of car keys.

Yeah, how fucking cool is that?

First reported on by 9to5Mac — who found the information in the developers’ beta of iOS 13.4 — the new feature is called, and wait for it, CarKey. Yes, Apple’s attempt to replace your car keys is called… CarKey. Goddamn, working in that company’s marketing department would be a dream.

[Read: Apple’s Q1 2020 financials were great — but it still needs a budget iPhone]

Anyway, iOS 13.4 has a whole load of references to a CarKey API and there appears to be information regarding on how it might work too.

Supposedly, CarKey will allow iPhones and Apple Watches to unlock, start, and lock NFC-compatible cars. Users will be able to do this without FaceID, meaning that the vehicle can still be operated if the Apple device is out of battery. Nice.

Pairing CarKey and the vehicle itself will require you to have the car manufacturer’s app. You might then use the Wallet app on the iPhone to manage the keys. Handily, you’ll also be able to use the Wallet app to share the CarKey with other iPhone users.

So when will we see CarKey?

No one knows.

While the API was found in iOS 13.4, that doesn’t necessarily mean CarKey will be formally launched with the software update. And, of course, there’s no information on the actual date iOS 13.4 will go live to the general public. Still, it won’t be long.

I would assume that Apple also needs to work with a range of car manufacturers in order to get CarKey supported on their vehicles — something we’ve not seen happening yet (even though that doesn’t mean it’s not already underway).

So, even if CarKey launches soon, it’s questionable how many vehicles will actually support it.

Still, as a long term goal and project for the company, it’s pretty damn cool, and I could imagine it making a lot of people’s lives easier. Why use car keys like a chump, when you can be cool as fuck and use CarKey instead?

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