iOS 11 Will Expand Your iPhone's NFC Capabilities Beyond Apple Pay in Several Ways

Apple at WWDC 2017 last month introduced Core NFC, a new iOS 11 framework that enables apps to detect Near Field Communication tags.


Similar to Apple Pay, iPhone users are prompted with a "Ready to Scan" dialog box. After holding the iPhone near an item with an NFC tag, a checkmark displays on screen if a product is detected. An app with Core NFC could then provide users with information about that product contained within the tag.

A customer shopping at a grocery store could hold an iPhone near a box of crackers, for example, and receive detailed information about their nutritional values, price history, recipe ideas, and so forth. Or, at a museum, a visitor could hold an iPhone near an exhibit to receive detailed information about it.

Core NFC will expand the iPhone's NFC chip capabilities beyond simply Apple Pay in several other ways.

A bottle of wine with an NFC tag similar to CapSeal

Cybersecurity company WISeKey, for example, today announced that its CapSeal smart tag will now support iPhone thanks to Core NFC. CapSeal smart tags are primarily used for authentication, tracking, and anti-counterfeiting on products like wine bottles. Many other companies offer similar solutions.

When placed on a bottle of spirit or a bottle of lubricant oil, for instance, and tapped by an NFC phone, the chip is able to securely authenticate and track the bottle like an ePassport does. It offers the same certified security level. It also allows the brand to broadcast personalized messages to the phone-holder detecting whether the bottle has been open or not.

Core NFC is currently supported by the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the framework is read-only for NFC tags of types 1 through 5 that contain data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF).

Developers interested in learning more can read Apple's documentation or watch the Introducing Core NFC session from WWDC 2017.

Tags: NFC, Core NFC

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
42 months ago
It's not enough to READ NFC, I want my Apple Watch's NFC chip to be able to lock/unlock doors and eventually unlock and start my vehicle. Basically my goal is to have an Apple watch with full Cellular and NFC capability, Air Pods, an Apple Watch app for my driver's license and nothing else. No keys, no wallet, no phone, JUST the watch and Air Pods.

Welcome to the future. No more bulky pockets full of crap.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

Does that mean that banks could use the NFC to pay for stuff contactlessly, just like Android?

They already have that... it's called ApplePay.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Is there a comprehensible reason why Core NFC is only supported by the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus? :/
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

Your phone communicating with remote sensors/beacons = just another way to be hacked.
The more you can interact with a given environment the more that environment can interact with you.

may as well use a pay phone in the woods
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Really interested to see how far this goes. I use my phone quite often to pull photos from my camera while doing shoots. Using NFC to assist in pairing for such actions is one of the few features I miss from my Android devices.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
I really want to hear about how Apple is securing this. NFC is convenient and all, but one of the reasons I like it on iPhone vs Android is that it literally only works when Apple says it should.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...