New features in the works for Apple’s iOS14 operating system continue to be revealed. These include a possibly groundbreaking digital car key feature, the revival of their charging mat project and an improved locations feature.
Digital Car Key
9to5Mac, an Apple watchdog news site, gained access to Apple iOS 14 beta code. Apparently, something in this code revealed that Apple will be partnering with BMW, the German car company, on their CarKey project.
Apple had also quietly partnered with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), a collective that includes Honda, Hyundai, General Motors, Volkswagen, Samsung, LG and Panasonic. This group has been reportedly working on third-party systems that intend to be compatible with any car. This “smart car key” will use both Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology. Apple brings its great UWB technology to the group.
This mechanism could completely change the landscape of the carshare industry. With this feature, a user would have a code sent to their phone when they want to rent a car. Then, they can approach the vehicle, wherever it’s parked, and key in the code for access. Families could also use the technology when sharing a vehicle with other family members. The days of frantically searching for your car keys might soon be over, instead you’ll be frantically searching for your phone.
Apple Charging Mat
It has also been revealed that Apple has revived its AirPower project. This feature will again allow Apple users to charge without plugging their phones into an outlet. Instead, the phone will be able to charge as it rests atop a charging mat. The project was temporarily abandoned after the system had overheating issues. The company has reportedly re-engineered the coils to distribute heat more evenly.
Lastly, an improved locations feature will increase the accuracy of the Find-My-Friends feature, which allows users to track the phones of anyone in their contacts who share their location with the user. It’s a useful feature for parents with young children, roommates and even those who care for people with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s.