Some Samsung phones can now be used as a car key, but support is limited
At its first Galaxy Unpacked event of the year, Samsung unveiled its flagship Galaxy S21 series. During the launch presentation, the company revealed that the devices would let users find and unlock Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis cars. The feature is now finally rolling out to users but, while it’s available on a couple of Samsung phones, it currently only supports one car model.
Samsung has started rolling out the Digital Key feature with the latest update for the Galaxy S21+, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The update is currently rolling out in Samsung’s home country of South Korea, but it should reach more regions in the coming days.
Samsung says that the Digital Key feature supports the newly launched Genesis GV60 luxury EV. If you happen to have one of the phones mentioned above and the new car, the Digital Key feature will help you lock/unlock your car and safely share the key with friends.
As shown in the attached image, the Digital Key feature will also let you turn on your car’s engine remotely. In addition, the feature offers a horn button that will help you honk your car’s horn using your phone and easily find it in a crowded parking space.
If you’re worried about losing your digital key and thereby your car, Samsung assures that the Digital Keys feature uses Secure Element (eSE) to protect your information and encryption keys. This means that you won’t have to worry about your virtual car keys falling into the wrong hands.
Along with the devices mentioned above, Samsung plans to release the feature to the older Galaxy Z Fold 2 as well. It will likely be a part of the next software update for the device, which should start rolling out in the coming days. While the feature currently works with just one car, it should become available for more models in the coming months.
It’s worth noting that Google is also adding support for a similar feature in Android 12. The company announced the feature at I/O 2021 earlier this year.