Apple Releases iOS 13.6 with New CarKey Feature

By Paul Riegler on 21 July 2020
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Apple released major updates to its mobile and tablet operating systems, iOS 13.6 and iPadOS 13.6.

The new version introduces new health, Apple News, and car-related features.

A major addition is Apple CarKey.  Apple wants to replace the car key, which has grown in size from just a key to a small intelligent device over the past 20 years. CarKey replaces a car’s key with a digital key stored in the iPhone.  The driver merely has to tap the door knob with his iPhone to unlock the door.  Once inside, the driver places the phone on the charging pad in the center console and presses the start/stop button to start the car.

Apple’s first partner for CarKey is BMW.  The feature will work on most BMWs manufactured after July 1, 2020, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 Series as well as the X5, X6, X7, and Z4 models. An iPhone XR, XS, 11 or newer is required as is the iOS 13.6 update.

In addition to being able to lock, unlock, and start a vehicle, drivers can share digital keys for a vehicle using iMessage, configure driver-specific profiles that allow for either full or restricted access to a vehicle, and remove digital keys from a lost device via iCloud.  A power reserve will allow the driver to unlock and start a vehicle for up to five hours after the iPhone runs out of battery powery.

The Health app has a new Symptoms feature that lets the user list any current symptoms he might be experiencing, such as a headache, cough, appetite change, dizziness, or nausea.  The symptoms can then be shared with third-party health apps.

New features in Apple News include Apple News Today, a podcast with the day’s top stories as well as audio versions of some stories in Apple News+.  Other new features include the addition of extensive local coverage of multiple cities including Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and the ability to listen to Apple News Today and Apple News+ stories in Apple CarPlay.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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