iPhone SESource: Rene Ritchie/iMore

What you need to know

  • The iPhone 9 will support Apple's upcoming CarKey feature.
  • Code in the iOS 13.4.5 beta shows that the feature will support iPhones with Touch ID.
  • CarKey will allow users to use their iPhone to lock, unlock, and start their car.

The iPhone 9 has long been rumored to forego Face ID, the face authentication system found in Apple's flagship iPhones and iPads, and instead opt for Touch ID. This idea seems to be confirmed by code found within the iOS 13.4.5 beta.

A new report by 9to5Mac explains that code in previous builds of iOS only referenced iPhone models with Face ID working with CarKey, but the newest beta now references iPhones with Touch ID.

CarKey is a new feature from Apple that will allow a user with a compatible car to use their iPhone to lock, unlock, and even start their vehicle. Users will also be able to give access to their car to friends and family.

The report goes further to explain that CarKey will support Express Transit, a feature that allows a user to authenticate without having to use Face ID or Touch ID, even if the phone is out of battery. According to 9to5Mac, "using it with power reserve only works with the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone 11 models". This would suggest that, since the iPhone 8 does not support this feature, the code must be referencing the unannounced iPhone 9.

A message was also found within the code saying "Your device does not support CarKey", suggesting that iPhone models like the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and older will not support the feature.

Apple is expected to announce the new low-cost iPhone in the coming weeks. Possible dates vary, but with phone cases beginning to show up in stores and reference to the device beginning to show up in the latest iOS builds, it is reasonable to expect a release date is not far away.