Google has announced that it will now allow users of the iPhone to share their digital key with users of the Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S21. This is the first time that owners of vehicles can share their key across different platforms.
Although Android users have been able to use digital key technology since 2021, the ability to share keys was more limited, which is a bit annoying since I don’t know about you, but I don’t make friends based on what phone they buy. Now, though, one of the major attractions of the technology, sharing your key virtually, is less limited by the device in your pocket.
The feature is currently available to anyone with an Apple iPhone, running iOS 16.1 or newer, as well as to users of the Google Pixel 6 or higher and the Samsung Galaxy S21 and up. It will, however, eventually be made available to users of other phones, as long as they’re using Android 12 or a more recent iteration of the operating system.
Read: Google Wallet Will Allow You To Upload Your Driver’s License To Your Phone
Google has not, however, provided a timeline for when the key sharing feature will be added to other phones. In order to use the function, the recipient of the key will have to be connected to the internet.
Unfortunately, this is a move that isn’t likely to affect a broad swathe of the population, since only a few automakers, including BMW, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, offer the service. It is not, however, unreasonably to assume that the use of the technology will expand further from here.
The digital key allows drivers to use their phone to unlock and start a vehicle, and it can be shared over apps like Mail, Messages, and WhatsApp. Normally, users have to take their phone out of their pocket and place it next to the door to unlock it, but Engadget reports that Samsung owners (and the owners of other phones with ultra-wideband technology) can unlock a car with their phone in their pocket.