Galaxy S21 series users in select countries can now unlock their BMWs using their phones. As promised earlier this year, Google is rolling out the digital car key feature for its Pixel 6 smartphones and the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. As the wording implies, a digital car key solution allows customers to turn their phones into ‘digital car keys' for compatible vehicles.
Google's digital car key feature works in a similar way to Samsung's own digital key solution that rolled for select Galaxy devices in South Korea a couple of months ago. But they're not the same thing, even though they essentially serve a similar purpose. For starters, Samsung's solution is limited to Korea and the Genesis GV60 electric vehicle. The Google digital car key, on the other hand, is available in more countries and works with compatible BMW cars.
Google's official announcement doesn't list compatible BMW cars or countries where the digital key is available. But as far as Samsung customers go, Galaxy S21 owners can reportedly use the Google digital car key feature with compatible BMW models in Denmark, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and the United States (via 9to5Google).
In addition to this new feature, Google announced that it's improving Android Auto with an auto-launch feature. Android Auto should now fire up automatically whenever you connect your phone. Google also confirmed that it's working on smart reply options and improvements to voice-based music searches for Android Auto. These features will roll out with a future update.
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