BMW Digital Key Plus now lets Android users unlock their car with their phone | CAR Magazine

BMW Digital Key Plus now lets Android users unlock their car with their phone

Published: 24 April 2023 Updated: 24 April 2023

► Using your smartphone as car key
► How BMW’s Digital Key Plus works
► Now for Android as well as Apple

BMW has released the latest version of its Digital Key Plus feature to Android phone users – letting them unlock and drive their car with just their smartphone.

Previously, the feature was only available to Apple iPhone users, but the full functionality is now available on either of the two main smartphone platforms. Learn more about Apple CarKey here.

Owners can now approach their connected BMW, open, start and lock the vehicle without having to take their mobile phone out of their pocket.

BMW Digital Key Plus: how it works

The feature has been available on Apple devices since 2021, but Munich this week rolled out a release that expands the functionality to compatible Samsung and Google phones running Android 13.1 or later. 

Unlock your BMW with your smartphone still in your pocket

The tech means the physical car key becomes redundant. It only works on the latest phones because it requires ultra-wideband radio functionality (UWB) to enable precise geolocation.

BMW says: ‘This is a digital radio technology for close range with high bandwidth, which features very precise localisation with the maximum possible security. The precision of UWB also ensures that the risk of relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, is virtually eliminated.’

Does my BMW have Digital Key Plus?

Android compatibility is available in BMWs offering the feature that were built since November 2022. The company promises ‘a future remote software upgrade will expand the capability to Digital Key Plus-capable vehicles produced before November 2022.’

Devices that work with the BMW Digital Key Plus include the latest iPhones and Android devices such as the Galaxy S23+, S23 Ultra, S22+, S22 Ultra, S21+, S21 Ultra, Z Fold4, Z Fold3, Note20 Ultra and Pixel 6 and 7 Pro models.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words