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Apple introduced a digital car key feature in iPhones in 2020, but the list of supported brands has been stagnant ever since. Now, some of the latest Genesis and Kia models are compatible with the much-requested feature. The 2022 Genesis G90, 2022 Genesis GV60, and 2022 Kia Niro all allow iPhone owners to use their devices in place of car keys.
Apple’s official list of vehicles compatible with CarPlay and digital car keys was updated this week to reflect their inclusion, but it’s still unclear if the feature is readily available for all of those vehicle owners or if it’s being slowly rolled out. A Kia spokesperson told MacRumors that more information regarding digital key availability will arrive “in the coming weeks.”
The digital car key feature works simply. All the owner needs to do is open their Apple Wallet and tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on the driver’s side door of their vehicle and the car will unlock. This works in a very similar way to the driver’s license features that Apple has been working on adding to its ecosystem that were recently approved for use in select airports.
The addition of Genesis and Kia vehicles to Apple’s list of digital key-compatible cars is actually a big step forward for the technology. Up to this point, the only car brand that’s supported digital keys has been BMW, which has been compatible with Apple Wallet as of models produced in 2020.
Now, two more major brands have joined Apple’s push to allow iPhones to expand their uses, which might indicate that more vehicle brands are to follow. The only other brand rumored to join BMW, Genesis, and Kia currently is Hyundai. This makes sense since Hyundai has partial ownership of both Genesis and Kia.
Samsung has partnerships with BMW and Genesis, among other brands, to work with its digital keys. Before the announcement that the 2022 Genesis GV60 would work with Apple’s key, the vehicle had supported Samsung keys.