BMW said its Digital Key Plus smartphone entry/start is now also available for some phones with Android operating systems.

Owners with compatible Samsung and Google devices can unlock and lock the car and start the engine with the phone still in a pocket.

Digital Key Plus has been available for Apple devices since 2021.

The vehicle reacts automatically when approached or left in the same way as a classic vehicle key with comfort access functionality. An orchestrated play of the front and rear lights in conjunction with a light carpet also functions like the physical key, depending on equipment specification.

A smartphone with Digital Key Plus completely replaces the vehicle key with extended functionality made possible using ultra-wideband technology (UWB). This is a digital radio technology for close range with high bandwidth, with very precise localisation with maximum possible security. The precision of UWB also ensures that the risk of relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, is virtually eliminated.

BMW Group worked in collaboration with the likes of Google to develop the corresponding specification and established it as a global standard for the automotive industry via the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC).

The group is working to to offer digital vehicle access to all owners irrespective of operating system.

It recently launched further expansion of Digital Key based on collaboration with Apple and Google, offering secure, cross-platform sharing of Digital Key between iPhone and compatible Android devices via email, SMS or any other messaging service.

Android compatibility is available in Digital Key Plus-capable vehicles produced from November 2022. A future remote software upgrade will expand the capability to some produced before November 2022.