The wizards over at XDA-Developers are at it again. They have combed through the code in the latest Play services update and found mention of Google’s digital car key feature that it first debuted at its I/O event in May this year.
A couple of things to note before you get all excited about the prospect of opening your car with your smartphone. Firstly, finding strings of code like this within the update doesn’t mean that these features will definitely make it to a future release. It could just be Google testing to see if anything will break when the code is introduced. Or the features may change before they’re introduced properly.
Secondly, there’s a string that reads:
<string name=“dck_stub_module_unavailable_title”>“Region isn’t supported”</string>
C’mon Google, spill the T
This leads us to believe that the feature is only going to be available in certain regions. What those regions are will hopefully be made clear closer to the time of release. It’s also unclear when that will be exactly. But if we’re seeing code in Play services updates, it shouldn’t be too far away. It could start becoming available as soon as later this month when Google rolls out Android 12 to the Pixel range.
During its I/O event, Google announced that Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones would receive the feature. At Samsung’s S21 launch event, it confirmed the functionality on its side and said it was partnering with Audi, BMW, Ford and Genesis (which aren’t sold here) to bring us smartphone powered keyless entry. Hopefully, we get more info on this at Google’s Pixel 6 launch event on 19 October.