Earlier in May this year, Google had showcased digital keys on the Android 12 at Google I/O, a feature that would let users unlock cars with their phones. The company had mentioned during the announcement that this feature would roll out on select Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices by this year.
Google has stuck to its promise and Digital Car Key support has started rolling out to the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S21. Along with this, there are some other new Android Auto features as well that are coming in.
Google shared details about the new Digital Car Key feature on select devices and mentioned that it is available only in a few countries now. Additionally, Google’s Digital Car Key is currently compatible with only BMW vehicles but support for cars from other manufacturers should be added soon.
Now, Google’s Digital Car Key is not the same as the Digital Key feature that’s available on some Samsung devices now. While both the features essentially do the same thing, Samsung’s solution is supported on the Samsung devices only, namely the Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip3, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Samsung’s Digital Key also works only with the Genesis GV60 EV, for now, at least.
The other Android Auto features that are rolling out along with Google’s Digital Car Key support includes a new auto-launch setting that automatically starts Android Auto as soon as you connect your phone to a compatible car. There is also a new “always-on” play button on the Android Auto come screen that will allow users to easily access their music. Google also has a new search icon for Android Auto that helps start voice search faster.
Google is soon going to roll out another new Android Auto feature that will allow users to respond to text messages with a tap using Smart Reply from the Google Assistant.
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