Apple’s support for NFC keys with iOS 15 suggests a world where keys will be more frequent on your iPhone, but support for the feature has been gradual. Some BMW cars already allow, Some Hyatt hotels are now adding this feature as well, using a slightly different process.
Six Hyatt locations are adding support for NFC card provision, which will be in-app on the phone. NFC keys reside in the Apple Wallet app, working without launching the app (there are already iOS apps that act as keys, but this needs to be started in order to work).
Hyatt locations receiving support for NFC cards include Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt House Dallas/Richardson, Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley and Hyatt Regency Long are in between. , It looks like some level of door locks need to be updated for this feature, including the new feature to allow NFC, which suggests that the rollout to other hotels may still take some time. (Tap-to-pay took a while to roll out when it started too).
The keys can be used even when the phone is locked, if “Express Mode” is toggled on in iOS 15’s settings. However, it can let anyone use the phone to open the hotel room door. Express Mode hides personal information and even keys, but activates the unlock feature even when it’s tapped on the door.
Apple’s NFC key card support in the Wallet app works even when the iPhone or Apple Watch’s battery life is exhausted, for about five hours in a mode called Power Reserve.
This feature works with iPhones as well as Apple Watches. While iOS 15 hasn’t introduced other NFC-based cards or major partners yet, the Home Lock and corporate badge are expected to be on deck at some point.