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Android 12 allows you to unlock your car using Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones

Google made a number of announcements for the automotive industry during its keynote on Google IO 2021, including the integration of a new digital car key feature as part of the Android 12 update.

If this sounds familiar, you are not wrong. Apple has been offering users its “CarKey” digital vehicle access since July 2020 with the introduction of iOS13.6. Samsung started its own service for the Galaxy S21 Plus and the S21 Ultra in early 2021 after a partnership with Audi, BMW. Ford and Genesis.

However, Google’s move to integrate digital access to car keys directly into Android 12 opens up the function to a wide variety of new devices and users. This feature allows you to unlock, lock and even start the engine from your smartphone.

It also uses UWB (Ultra Broadband) technology, which means you can just walk to your car and it will be unlocked without taking out your phone.

You can also share digital access to your vehicle with others. This makes it easy to lend your car to friends without giving them a physical key and setting a limited access period.

It is currently unclear how many cell phones are supported. So far, Google has only stated that it will be available on select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones when it becomes available later this year.

We know that Google has partnered with BMW (and others) and that the key digital function will be compatible with the upcoming BMW iX electric car.

Look, no wires!

There is positive news for those who frequently use Android Auto in their vehicles. So you can mirror the most important smartphone apps on the main display of your car.

Apps like Spotify, Google Maps, and Google Assistant are available for Android Auto and give you a higher level of control and functionality than some infotainment systems.

However, one of the limitations is that in many vehicles you need to physically connect your Android smartphone to your car with a USB cable in order for Auto to work.

According to Google, more and more manufacturers – including Honda, Ford and BMW – are now offering wireless support for new cars. How many of the 100 million Android Auto-assisting vehicles on the road will have wireless functionality is still unclear.

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