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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced some of the forthcoming features for Apple CarPlay at its WWDC 2020 developer conference.

There's a range of nice additions, like customisable wallpapers for CarPlay when you're connected to your car, as well as new categorisations for accessible apps - like EV charging, which will be very welcomed by those using CarPlay in an electric car

But the biggest part of this announcement is the support of digital car keys via a CarKey app - with the 2021 BMW 5 Series being the first car to support this functionality. Apple and BMW have a long history of firsts - wireless CarPlay made its debut on a BMW, for example. 

Back to those digital car keys and the advantage this brings is that you'll be able to unlock your car using your phone rather than having to have the actual key in your pocket. Many cars offer keyless entry, where you can have the key in your pocket, but via a digital car key you'll be able to unlock with your phone instead. 

There's an advantage to this, such as key sharing. You'll be able to share your key via iMessage, meaning you can lend your car to someone else, or get someone else to bring your car home, for example. You'll also be able to set restrictions on those keys when you share them. 

These sorts of features have been supported by some manufacturers for a couple of years, but bringing these features together in the iPhone, rather than having to use manufacturer apps is likely to be popular. 

The new features for Apple CarPlay will be coming to iOS 14 - expected in September 2020 - while the CarKey functionality will be on iOS 13 and iOS 14.

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 22 June 2020.