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Volkswagen now lets Apple users unlock their cars with Siri

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Multiple new Siri Shortcuts options

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Volkswagen is deepening its relationship with Apple on its VW Car-Net app. iOS users can now use Siri to lock and unlock their car, check estimate mileage with the fuel or charge left in their vehicle, and enable alarms.

VW owners can use Siri to start and stop a charging session for their electric car or to turn on the defroster. They can also set a specific temperature and locate their car.

Cart-Net isn’t free to all VW owners, though: the app costs a specific subscription fee per month. It allows vehicle owners to pinpoint their car’s location, set a geofence for it, and access diagnostics remotely.

The Shortcuts feature is particularly nifty, especially if users can develop a morning routine around it. I’d imagine people in cold areas would want to remotely start their defroster and set the inside temperature.

Doing it all in one step might not save that much time, but in the long run, it’s a nice feature. Apple debuted Siri Shortcuts with iOS 12, which is required for this new Volkswagen functionality. So far, we haven’t seen anything terribly impressive, but features like this make it clear that while it might not revolutionize our lives, it could make certain app actions more seamless.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been continuously working to integrate its Alexa assistant into cars, including with the impending release of Echo Auto, which would bring the assistant into cars that weren’t initially built for it. The company’s also partnered with carmakers directly, like Ford, to install the assistant in cars. Apple has to play catch-up in the market, so Siri Shortcuts will be somewhat essential for that task.