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Like iPhones, Android Phones Will Soon Turn Into Car Keys Too

Not a long time ago, Apple announced its iPhones could double as car keys, and a partnership with BMW brought this experience to select customers.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 1 photo
Photo: Samsung
And now it’s time for Android devices to get similar capabilities, with Samsung revealing at its Unpacked event on January 14 that it’s already working with a series of car manufacturers to make it happen.

The South Korean company says it’s currently collaborating on the project with Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis, and the goal is to enable vehicles equipped with ultra-wideband, or UWB, to support its latest smartphone as a car key.

In other words, those buying a Samsung Galaxy S21 will be able to unlock the doors of their cars using nothing else than the smartphone, as long the vehicle does support such capabilities.

Very little info has been shared on how close to completion the project currently is, so we don’t have an ETA as to when these capabilities are supposed to go live. Still, given they are specifically aimed to turn the Galaxy S21 into car keys, expect them to be announced this year. Samsung is projected to announce a new Galaxy S model in early 2022.

However, the best news on this subject is how Samsung’s collaboration with these carmakers could bring similar capabilities to all Android devices out there. The South Korean company isn’t only working with carmakers to make this feature happen but also with several organizations, as they want the new capabilities to be standardized and universal.

So while Samsung will likely be the first to add it to their devices, the entire Android device ecosystem will have access to the whole thing. That means sooner or later, UWB digital car keys would be available for any other company making Android phones. In fact, Samsung itself has even confirmed it wants to allow UWB phones to double as car keys regardless of brand and platform, though it would take a while until this happens.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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