Apple recently released iOS 13.4 update for developers, which brings a host of new features and gives us an idea of what to expect. 9to5Mac went digging through the update files and found references for a feature that might enable one to use their iPhone as a car key and more. As per the report, the update contains references to a CarKey API that might work with NFC-compatible cars. The feature might enable one to use their iPhones and/or the Apple Watch to lock, unlock or even start their vehicle.
The option will reportedly use FaceID for authentication and will work even when their iPhone or Apple Watch’s battery is depleted. “To use CarKey, hold iPhone or Apple Watch to reader. It will work automatically, without requiring Face ID. You can change express mode settings in Wallet,” reads the feature description posted by 9to5Mac. The pairing process will take place via the Wallet app and would then require the car manufacturer’s app to go on with the setup, the report claims. One would apparently be required to place their iPhone on top of the NFC reader in the car during the initial process and then the CarKey is supposed to show up in the Wallet app.
CarKey might also be shareable with other people like family members and once added to an iPhone, it can be added to the Apple Watch. One might also be able to invite members to access CarKey via the Wallet app. Additionally, if the pairing process mentioned above fails, users could also enter a PIN code to add a key to the Wallet app manually. As mentioned earlier, this feature is said to be available for developers with the first beta update of iOS 13.4 and is expected to be rolled out for everyone when this version goes public.