Developer Access to iPhone's NFC Chip Coming in iOS 11

Developers coding for iOS 11 will be able to create apps that can read NFC tags, opening the door for the wireless exchange of information between an iPhone and various connected devices in a user's environment.

The NFC chip in the iPhone is currently only used to handle contactless Apple Pay transactions and Passbook check-ins, but a new framework detailed in a developer resource published shortly after Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday lays the foundation for multiple use cases by third-party apps.

applepay
Called "Core NFC", the framework will allow apps to read Near Field Communication tags that are compatible with the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF), which is supported by iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets. The developer support document overview describes the possibilities afforded by the new framework like so:

"Your app can read tags to give users more information about their physical environment and the real-world objects in it. For example, your app might give users information about products they find in a store or exhibits they visit in a museum."

Apple has limited third-party access to NFC hardware since it first appeared in the iPhone 6, and has closely guarded the technology, as evidenced in the company's ongoing spat with Australian banks eager to use Apple's Wallet NFC implementation in their own apps.

However, the possibilities for NFC outside of banking look set to expand with Apple's next-generation mobile operating systems. Indeed, Apple also demonstrated a new use case for NFC in Watch OS 4, which will allow the Apple Watch to interface with gym equipment and transfer fitness data like heart rate and calorie burn between devices in real time.

How privacy concerns surrounding NFC interfacing will be overcome remains to be seen, but it should be interesting to see the various use cases developers can come up with once iOS 11 launches in the fall.

(Via Engadget.)

Tags: NFC, WWDC 2017
Related Forums: iPhone, iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

Stella Avatar
56 months ago
Finally!!! Better late than never!

Now we can put that NFC to other uses.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iFanaddic Avatar
56 months ago
Does this mean employers will be able to replace those darn NFC access card?

Oh and my public transit pass too!? That would be amazing I always forget them!



If so, the only thing left in my wallet will be my drivers license, I wonder how Apple will solve this one out!

Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
56 months ago
I haven't posted on MacRumors forums in a while but I just had to log in and post on this one.

What a ridiculous idea to not expand NFC support for older iPhone models (6 and up). There is absolutely no technical reason not to. All models could easily support NDEF. Additionally, the user base for NFC will now be very low and will be less attractive to developers.

This is just one of those arbitrary decisions Apple makes to make newer devices more attractive for no reason, just like Night Shift being 64-bit only. No technical reason behind it.

EDIT: 6 and up, not 5s and up
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
56 months ago
No reason it shouldn't work with the 6s.
From the story - indeed looks like iPhone 7 and onwards... :-(
"Called "Core NFC", the framework will allow apps to read Near Field Communication tags that are compatible with the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF), which is supported by iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets. The developer support document overview describes the possibilities afforded by the new framework like so:"
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TonyC28 Avatar
56 months ago
Cue the outcry from iPhone 6 and 6s users
Is there a reason why this wouldn't work for the 6 and 6S?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JohnApples Avatar
56 months ago
Would love this for hotel rooms! Recently stayed at a Hilton and they had Digital Key, but it required unlocking my phone and loading up the app. Unlock process was long too. However, putting my phone up to the lock activated ApplePay so as they already support NFC, hopefully a "touch phone to door to unlock" can become a reality here!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...