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Google enables digital car key sharing between iPhones, Pixels

Google enables digital car key sharing between iPhones, Pixels

Google has added cross-phone digital car key sharing for Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S21 devices running Android 12.

The move means you no longer need to use the same phone OS to share digital car keys, and someone using an iPhone running iOS 16.1 can send keys stored in Wallet to a Pixel through communications apps like Mail, Messages and Whatsapp.

In a blog post, Google said(Opens in a new window) that the function will come to other phones with Android version 12 and newer “soon”, but did not specify when.

The digital car key effectively treats your phone as a physical key, and for it to work, users need to be close to the car door. Engadget reports(Opens in a new window) that on phones with ultra-broadband, for example larger Galaxy S21+ models, it is possible to unlock the car without having to take the phone out of the pocket.

Not many automakers currently support digital car keys, with BMW and Hyundai among the few that do, according to Engadget.

The digital car key is only available (Opens in a new window)for select vehicles in select markets and works with Pixel 6 and later, Samsung Galaxy S21 and later, and select Android devices running Android 12 and later. Setting up a digital car key requires an internet connection.

In a blog post(Opens in a new window)Google also announced a wave of new Android features for the Christmas season that includes YouTube’s new home screen search widget(Opens in a new window)which allows Android users to access their library of videos, shorts or subscriptions via a quick tap from the home screen.

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And the company announced a new reading mode(Opens in a new window) on Android that creates an accessible reading experience for people who are blind, visually impaired or dyslexic. The feature allows users to change the contrast, font and size as well as use a text-to-speech feature with speed control.

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Last week, Google warned that five security flaws affecting Android smartphones remain unpatched months after being brought to the attention of phone manufacturers.

In a blog post(Opens in a new window)Google’s Project Zero said the bugs it previously reported in June and July had not been fixed, putting users of smartphones belonging to Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo and Google itself at risk of hacking.

The problems reported earlier in the year were linked to semiconductor designer ARM’s ‘Mali’ graphics card processor, or GPU. The GPU is found in phones like the Pixel 6.

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