Your Android phone can now act as the key to your BMW

By topgear, 28 April 2023

Your Android phone can now act as the key to your BMW

Hey you, do you own a BMW and an Android mobile telephone? You do? Well we've some good news for you, because BMW has finally released its Digital Key Plus tech to Google and Samsung-compatible handsets.

What that means in the real world is that if you've got an Android phone, you can now use it to unlock, start and lock your BMW.

Yep, in the same way that keyless entry enables some drivers to access the car without physically removing the key from their bag or pocket, the car picks up the authenticated smartphone’s signal using ultra-wideband (UWB) radio frequency. Fancy.

This particular frequency requires very close proximity and by using precise localisation, virtually eliminates the potential for radio signal interference or jamming. It's all controlled from an app and it's a feature that can be turned off if you're not a fan.

Weirdly, BMW owners with Apple smartphones and smart watches have been able to get into their cars and start the engine without a physical key since 2021, but the release for Android OS is now here.

The Android tech is currently accessible to drivers of BMWs produced in November 2022 and beyond, but plans are for an over-the-air update to extend compatibility to older models too.


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