For the past few years, Apple has clearly been on a mission to replace our physical wallets. Features like Apple Pay already mean you can leave your credit cards and loyalty cards behind, and the Wallet app can also already handle boarding passes, venue tickets, and even student ID cards.
Last year, Apple took that to another level with Car Key, and iOS 15 promises to expand that into just about every other kind of key you might need, from your home to the office to the hotels where you stay.
This promises to be a pretty massive expansion, but it looks like at least the home key part of it won’t necessarily be arriving in iOS 15.0, with Apple noting that it’s “coming in a software update later this year.”
Of course, that’s probably not a big problem, since if past experiences with Apple-compatible home accessories are any indication, we likely won’t see the first locks supporting home keys arriving nearly that soon anyway.
Similarly, Apple is enhancing its Car Key feature with UWB support and remote hock and lock/unlock features, but that’s also going to need cards that are actually equipped to work with the new technology. So far, Apple hasn’t said anything about which vehicles will support this, although we can probably count on BMW being first in line again.
That said, hotel keys could be ready to go sooner. During the WWDC keynote, Apple mentioned that Hyatt is already in the process of rolling out compatible locks to over 1,000 of its hotel properties worldwide, and it’s supposed to be available at least some as soon as this fall.
It’s also worth noting that for whatever reason, these keys will all require an iPhone XS or later. It’s unclear why that is, although we’re hoping it at least also includes the iPhone XR. For office and hotel keys, Apple also adds that “device requirements may vary by hotel and workplace.”