BMW Digital Key Plus Android support brings in Google and Samsung

BMW brings its Digital Key Plus to Android devices.
(Image credit: BMW)

What you need to know

  • BMW brings Digital Key Plus support to a few compatible Google and Samsung Android devices.
  • Digital Key Plus lets drivers use their compatible Android phone as their car's key with a few additional features, too.
  • For right now, the listed devices are only compatible with BMW vehicles produced from November 2022 onward.

German car brand BMW is now including the Android OS in its support for the Digital Key Plus per its press release. BMW's Digital Key Plus, accessible from the My BMW app, lets the driver use their compatible Android phone as their car's key.

The Express mode is a programmable feature of Digital Key Plus that lets users customize their hands-free experience. If a user is walking away, their car will lock itself. If approaching, their car will unlock and start as it senses the compatible Android device in their pocket. This functionality will still persist for five hours if your phone's battery happens to die.

Digital Key Plus utilizes ultra-wideband technology (UWB) for close-range communication with your car (using precise localization) for comfortable security. BMW states its use of UWB ensures that in the event of a relay attack (jammed signal or interception) is "virtually eliminated."

A couple of things BMW owners with compatible Android phones can do with the Digital Key Plus.

(Image credit: BMW)

Support of Android phones is not currently widespread. BMW is only supporting the following Google and Samsung devices running Android 13.1 or later to start out. Additionally, those with a listed Samsung device can use the BMW Digital Key Plus if they are in a market that supports Samsung Wallet.

The list of compatible Android devices provided by BMW can only use the Digital Key Plus feature with vehicles produced by November 2022 onward. The German manufacturer informs that a future update will be required to bring full service with its cars produced before November 2022.

Through the My BMW app, drivers can share access to their vehicle with up to five other Android users.

BMW reiterates that the Digital Key Plus has, up until now, only been available for Apple's iPhone and Apple Watch. It further states that the next stage after this initial Android welcome is to bring a "full range of comfort access functions" to the newly included devices. Additionally, BMW states users can share Digital Key Plus access between iPhone and compatible Android phones securely via email, text message, or any other messaging service.

Samsung already has its own "digital car key" for BMW, Kia, and Genesis vehicles. However, that version required the phone to support NFC, indicating a physical touch of the phone to the car was necessary. With BMW rolling out its own official support — and using UWB — users can leave their phones in their pockets and hop right into their cars.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.

  • Bkdodger1
    I've been using it on my iPhone for the past 2 years and although I don't use it all the time it does come in handy a few times even starting the car by placing my phone on the charging pad... It's good to see Android site getting some love from BMW