BMW brings its Digital Key Plus feature to Samsung Galaxy and Pixel phones

Drivers can open their car just by standing next to it.


BMW has announced Android smartphone owners can now use hands-free technology that opens your car with your phone. The feature, known as the Digital Key Plus, will be available on the Samsung Galaxy S23+, Galaxy S23 Ultra, Google Pixel 7 Pro and a range of other newer Samsung devices. Prior to this, it was only available for anyone with an iPhone or Apple Watch.

The Digital Key Plus uses ultra wideband (UWB) digital radio technology to function the same way any traditional key fob would: When your phone goes near your car — from inside your pocket, bag or so on — it unlocks and then locks back up again when you leave. You can also access controls directly on the My BMW app to lock and unlock the car, open your trunk and control the temperature. The homepage lets you know the status of each feature, such as if your car is actually locked.

BMW previously released its Digital Key for the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Google Pixel 6 phones, but that feature required drivers to hold their phone up to the door handle. The hands-free option is a small upgrade, but saves digging for your phone at least. BMW also claims the UWB technology's precision almost entirely removes the risk of anyone jamming or intercepting the radio signals.

The expansion follows BMW's December announcement that you can share a Digital Key between Apple and Google devices. Basically, if you're nice enough to let a friend borrow your car for the weekend, they can use their phone to control it.

At the moment, you need a pretty new car to make use of this new feature. Only BMW cars built since November 2022 with Digital Key Plus technology are compatible with Androids. The company plans to use remote software updates to eventually expand access to older models.