One of the most interesting and limited features available within the iOS ecosystem is Car Key. Launched in 2020, only a limited number of BMW models could be unlocked with the owner’s iPhone and Apple Watch. Now, Apple is expanding this feature to some Kia and Genesis vehicles.

This limited list now includes the 2022 Genesis GV60 and G90 and the 2022 Kia Niro. To MacRumors, a spokesperson for Kia said the company “will have more information about Digital Key availability in the coming weeks,” while Genesis and Apple didn’t provide a comment at the time.

At the beginning of the year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple’s Car Key feature was set for its first expansion beyond BMW. Here’s what he wrote in January:

Remember CarKey, the Apple feature announced a year and a half ago that lets you unlock and start your car from your iPhone’s Wallet app? I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re unfamiliar with it, given that Apple hasn’t discussed the feature in a while and it only works on select BMW models. I’m told that’s going to change soon. In line with code findings several months ago in iOS 15, I’m hearing that the next cars to get support for the feature will be models from Hyundai and its Genesis line. I’m told the functionality will roll out by the summer. 

BMW CarKey

Both of these new brands are divisions of Korean automaker Hyundai, so it makes a lot of sense. Not only has Car Key expansion rolled out before summer, but it expanded to Genesis and Kia vehicles.

As of now, it’s unclear whether other vehicles from both carmakers will be available at a later date. What’s good to note is that Car Key is finally expanding to more vehicles after almost two years.

To not even take your iPhone from your pocket or raise your Apple Watch to unlock the car, you’ll need an iPhone 11 or Apple Watch Series 6 due to the need for the U1 chip. That said, users can still use Car Key by NFC as long as their iPhone or Apple Watch are running iOS 13.6 or watchOS 6.2.8 and, obviously, feature an NFC sensor.

You can find the list of all vehicles with CarPlay and Car Key functions here.

Does you car now feature Car Key compatibility? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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About the Author

José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at tv globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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