Apple’s Car Key feature was originally announced in July 2020 to unlock your car using the Wallet app on your iPhone. However, the availability of this feature has been limited and has only recently been expanded beyond certain BMW vehicles.
In a sign that the company is accelerating the adoption of car keys, Apple launched a new app, Car Key Tests, on the App Store this week.
Apple’s new car key app
According to 9to5Mac sources, the new Car Key Tests app has been added to the App Store today. The app is distributed under Apple’s developer account but is currently unlisted. That means you can only access it through a direct link, not through App Store search or Apple’s account page.
The app is intended for automakers to test integration with Apple’s Car Key feature. Apple says the app allows those companies to “test and validate” the requirements for the certification process of car key adoption through its Made-For-iPhone program.
This is what Apple says about the Car Key Tests app:
For use by MFi licensees only. Use the Car Keys Tests app to test and validate the connectivity, performance, and other key requirements for the certification process of the vehicles you develop that incorporate Apple Digital Car Key technology. For more information on car key certification, visit the MFi portal at mfi.apple.com.
It is likely that Apple has privately distributed this app directly to Car Key partners in the past. Adding the app to the App Store simplifies this process and makes it easier to distribute the app to testing partners.
Ideally, this means Apple looking to accelerate Car Key adoption and expand the feature to new cars and other manufacturers. The feature is currently limited to certain BMW, Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
Car Key has the potential to be one of the most groundbreaking features for the wallet app. It works via NFC and can be used not only to unlock your car, but also to start the car, share car keys with other people and much more.
I’m confident that this car key test app means we’ll see a big expansion in availability soon. It remains to be seen whether this will ultimately prevail. Have you ever used a car key? What was your impression of it? Let us know in the comments below.
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