One of the new features of iOS 14, which will also be available to iOS 13 users, is CarKey. With CarKey, you can use your iPhone or Apple Watch to lock, unlock, and start a car. Unfortunately, this feature is not compatible with all devices that can run iOS 14 and watchOS 7.

CarKey uses NFC technology to communicate with the car, enabling devices to function as a true car key. Users must place the iPhone on top of the NFC reader in the car during the initial process, and then CarKey will be available in the Wallet app.

Since CarKey works automatically without the user having to unlock the phone and open any app, it requires the Background Tag Reading technology, something that is only available on iPhone XR and later.

According to Apple’s website, CarKey is also restricted to Apple Watch Series 5, which was launched last year. However, this may seem controversial, as the Apple Watch Series 5 hardware is nearly identical to Series 4. The only real differences between Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 are the display, built-in compass, and internal storage.

Even so, Apple has decided that Apple Watch Series 4 owners will not have access to CarKey. You can check the full compatibility list below:

  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd gen)
  • Apple Watch Series 5

The first supported car is the 2021 BMW 5 series, but the company hasn’t mentioned when CarKey will be available.

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About the Author

Filipe Espósito

Filipe Espósito is a Brazilian tech Journalist who started covering Apple news on iHelp BR with some exclusive scoops — including the reveal of the new Apple Watch Series 5 models in titanium and ceramic. He joined 9to5Mac to share even more tech news around the world.