Apple Releases watchOS 6.2.8 With Car Keys Support

Apple today released watchOS 6.2.8, the 10th update to the watchOS 6 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 6.2.8 comes a month after the launch of watchOS 6.2.6, a security update.

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watchOS 6.2.8 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated ‌Apple Watch‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌iPhone‌‌.

watchOS 6.2.8 introduces Car Key, a feature also available on the ‌iPhone‌ with iOS 13.6. Car Key is designed to allow an ‌iPhone‌ or an Apple Watch to be used in lieu of a physical key to unlock an NFC-enabled vehicle.

Car Key needs to be implemented by car manufacturers to function, and BMW is one of Apple's first partners. BMW's Digital Key for ‌iPhone‌ feature will let ‌iPhone‌ owners tap to unlock their vehicles, start the car by placing the ‌iPhone‌ in the smartphone tray, place limitations on young drivers, and share keys with up to five other users.

Car Key will work in a wide range of BMW models, including the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4 if manufactured after July 1st 2020. An Apple Watch Series 5 or newer is required, as is the watchOS 6.2.8 update.

No other new features were found during the watchOS 6.2.8 beta testing period, and according to Apple's release notes, the update also brings ECG support and irregular heart rate notifications to Bahrain, Brazil, and South Africa.

watchOS 6.2.8 includes new features and improvements:
- Adds support for digital car keys for Apple Watch Series 5
- ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later now available in Bahrain, Brazil, and South Africa
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Bahrain, Brazil, and South Africa

watchOS 6.2.8 will be one of the last updates to the watchOS 6 operating system that will be retired later this year in favor of watchOS 7, new software announced at WWDC.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

dasmb Avatar
50 months ago
Finally! Now time to go buy a brand new BMW!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
50 months ago

Watch seems like it would be more convenient for Car Key, just like it is for Apple Pay. Now that I'm wearing a mask all the time, double clicking the Apple Watch side button is much faster than authenticating the phone with a code.
This is one place where the iPhone 8 and SE win out over the newer iPhones.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallGuyGT Avatar
50 months ago

What justification is there for limiting Carkey support to Series 5 and not at least including Series 4?
Courage? I have the same question as the watches are supposed to have the same processor.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simbo123 Avatar
50 months ago
What justification is there for limiting Carkey support to Series 5 and not at least including Series 4?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallGuyGT Avatar
50 months ago
Watch seems like it would be more convenient for Car Key, just like it is for Apple Pay. Now that I'm wearing a mask all the time, double clicking the Apple Watch side button is much faster than authenticating the phone with a code.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleMad98004 Avatar
50 months ago

Courage? I have the same question as the watches are supposed to have the same processor.
It's what Apple does. There will be WatchOS features that will only be available on Series 6 this fall as well, even though series 5 could run them.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)