Apple’s awesome iPhone, Apple Watch functionality to be even better, report tips

When Apple launched its Digital Car Keys feature (usually referred to as CarKey) in July 2020, it was a game changer. A new patent suggests more features could be on the way.

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If you missed it, that’s very clever. With some cars, you can unlock the vehicle by simply touching your iPhone or Apple Watch to the car, without reaching into your pocket for your keys. You can also use the same mechanism to start the engine. Oh, and you can share digital car keys with others via iMessage and easily cancel the key too.

You can even start your car up to five hours after the iPhone battery runs out, which is pretty cool.

You can also set up Express Mode so you don’t even have to take your iPhone out of your pocket or press a button on your watch for the unlock to happen.

As reported by Patently Apple, a new patent called “User Interfaces for an Electronic Key”, the title identical to an earlier patent that first presaged digital car keys.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you, dear reader, I haven’t read every word of that patent. I tried my best, but these things are so dry my brain turned to soup after the first 20 minutes. But I’ve read enough of the 41,000+ words to see that new features are promised.

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For example, in addition to unlocking your vehicle from the iPhone or Apple Watch screen, you can re-lock the car from the same screen without having to switch to another. Convenient if you unlocked by mistake or changed your mind.

New features include turning on the air conditioning using your iPhone, for example. Thus, he will be able to turn on the air conditioning or the heating to adjust the environment to a particular temperature. And, better, he says, “allows a user to control the climate function of the vehicle without having to be physically present inside the vehicle.”

That’s pretty cool – you can turn on the AC to cool the car on a hot day without you climbing in, turn it on and definitely open all the windows to make it bearable until the AC goes down trigger correctly.

It will also be able to display on the iPhone screen if the trunk is open and, optionally, open the trunk if necessary.

Then there’s an alarm button that will tell you if the alarm is on or off and, presumably, set it accordingly.

Like now, this will all be controlled from the Wallet app on the iPhone or Apple Watch.

With patents, there’s no idea when the content might be part of a new software update, or even if it will appear at all. But it shows that Apple continues to work on improving digital car keys.

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