Apple May Give iPhones More NFC-Based Capabilities Through iOS 12

You may soon be able to unlock NFC-enabled doors using your iPhones through the iOS 12.

Near-field communication (NFC) was first integrated in Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, this was mainly restricted to Apple Pay transactions. This time, the Cupertino-based company is said to be expanding its NFC capabilities to other uses through the iOS 12 update.

A report by The Information says that Apple is set to change it NFC policies soon. Reports also suggest that it could be at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2018 (WWDC)set to kick-off on June 4.

“The change to the NFC chip…could pave the way for people to use iPhones for other security-sensitive interactions,” the report said.

According to the report, Apple employees are already using their iPhones to unlock doors at the Apple Park. This is possible through “custom badge readers detailed in Federal Communications Commission filings last year.”

Apple first allowed increased functionality with its NFC chip through the CoreNFC framework in iOS 11. However, it only currently allows RFID tags scanning. With the change in NFC policies in the iOS 12, more stuff can finally be integrated. This includes interacting with smart locks, building security systems, vehicles, and paying transit fares.

 

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The real reason why Android fans want NFC on the iPhone

The internet is full of disappointment regarding the iPhone 5. Most of these airing disappointments are the people who have already decided to get Android or already have an Android or are planning to rock a Windows Mobile phone. Regardless of the ever growing dismay from fans of other operating systems, the iPhone 5 sold out again at a record speed.

There is no denying that the iPhone 5 has an allure that Android will not have as a whole. The reason why the iPhone 5 is so popular has been proven to be the brand itself. There is simply a lot of trust in the Apple brand, even if you were to claim that it is blind trust, it is trust that sells.

Android fans know that. Even if they are confident and sure of their purchase, that they would rather have an Android or Windows Mobile device, they realize that they need NFC to be on the iPhone 5. This makes them hate Apple more than usual for destroying their hopes.

You are probably thinking I have gone nuts, but let me enlighten you as to why Android customers would be happier if the iPhone 5 actually got NFC.

First, what do we use NFC for?

For the consumer, it enables them to send data securely and easily through services like Android Beam, or control certain options with personal programmable NFC tags. By putting a programmed tag on the car mount for example, once the user puts the phone on the mount, it will launch the Google Maps Navigation, turn on Bluetooth and turn off vibration. There are many possibilities of using it on a personal level.

For corporations, the use of NFC is focused on mobile payments and advertising. They want to be able to send advertisements through NFC tags or share their websites and possibly give out product information or even a menu in the store using NFC. Most importantly, they want NFC enabled devices to further expand credit card payments with the use of services like Google Wallet and ISIS.

Obviously, it also serves as a convenience for the consumer since they no longer need to carry their cards with them. There are also a lot of other things that corporations could do for the customer, if only NFC caught on like it was supposed to.

It is no secret that Google has been very eager to market NFC to the world. After all, they are banking on the wide adaptation of NFC so that they can further expand their Google Wallet payment system. Obviously, while new Android devices with NFC are constantly being released to the world, many businesses are still reluctant to finally adopt the technology.

Sure, there is already a pretty good adaptation of NFC in larger, more financially capable corporations like McDonald’s. That is only a part of the market. Android users want NFC to be more useful, more widespread, to make their NFC devices more useful. After all, what good is a feature if you can’t use it?

That is where Apple and their iPhone 5 fit in the picture. As I said, Apple can sell the iPhone 5 pretty. It has been shown in the streets that people would buy the iPhone 4S once more if it was marketed as the iPhone 5. Even if they don’t know the difference, even if it is the same product all over again, the market swoons.

It is also no secret that the iPhone has the healthiest after market economy despite having only one model every year. There are more cases, more docks, more speakers, and simply more accessories and services tailored for the iPhone compared to their Android counterparts.

Let’ face the fact that the market moves when Apple makes its moves. I am not saying it is the case forever, but right now, the magic is still there.

If the iPhone 5 came out with Near Field Communications, then it will finally pick up. Every business would want to support it, more NFC related products and services would surface, and people from all sides of the market will act and will benefit. They may have been late to the party, but they are the guests that make it a party.

So why did Android users want Apple to put NFC on the iPhone 5 so bad? Simply because it will make Near Field Communications a whole lot ‘cooler’. It will be better known, better adapted, and better integrated into their lives. NFC will find the push it needs to be accepted in a broader marketplace.

Apple knows that people are waiting for NFC to finally catch on. Apple is waiting for two things to happen. One is for NFC to be popular, and then they will be forced to adopt it since they don’t want to be left behind.

The other case, one the Apple is most likely hoping for, is for NFC to totally fail to catch on.

Mark my words. When NFC fails to truly catch on and disappear into obscurity, Apple will sweep in and use the “magic of the brand” to make NFC a stellar feature. Then they will be known as the brand that brought NFC to life and gloat as if they invented it in the first place. NFC will still succeed, but Apple wants it to succeed under their terms.

Image sources: cultofmac.com, nfc-forum.org, Apple.com, android.com

NFC has a future thanks to Tec Tiles

NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a recent technology that some mobile manufacturers like Samsung are promoting. It is a data transfer technology that is slower than Bluetooth. It is also rather short ranged, allowing only a few centimeters for it to even work. What are you going to use it for? Not much at the moment. That is all about to change through, as Samsung introduced “Tec Tiles” to provide the demand for Near Field Communication.

Why are people pushing for this technology anyway? Near Field Communication is actually really handy for several functions. NFC data transfers or interactions require very little power. It works only at close range, so transfers are more secure and less likely to be intercepted. It can also generate a short range energy field that can power NFC tags. These tags would not require power to provide the information stored within, allowing tags to be placed in small and simple daily items, such as posters, laces, ID’s and cards.

Near Field Communication technology is more notably used in the credit industry. NFC enabled phones can use a wallet application, such as Google Wallet, to pay for services or products by simply putting the phone in close proximity to an NFC capable terminal. The transfers are said to be secure, and is initiated by the user and is harder to intercept. Less notable use of NFC is in advertisements. There are several “smart posters” that are in the wild that your NFC enabled phones can interact with to get certain information. These are perfect examples of NFC tags that are paper thin and do not require to be powered on its own. This works much like a barcode, or a QR code, but works much faster and can provide data without the need for a database, or the need for your device to search for the meaning of the code in the internet.

At the moment, Near Field Communication technology is not as popular as many would hope. There are very few establishments that offer the NFC terminals or advertisements. There are some who have used the NFC to provide menus, but since NFC is not in every phone, and not many people really use it anyway, it isn’t used as much as they would like. That may just change soon, due to the Tec Tiles that Samsung introduced recently.

So what makes these Tec Tiles special? Tec Tiles are programmable NFC tags. There is an application in the Play Store that will allow you to access and program these tiles to perform various functions when an NFC capable device interacts with it. Samsung has outlined several interesting uses for your own programmable NFC Tag. This can allow more establishments to be able to use their own NFC tags to provide advertisement, by prompting your phone to visit a website, or show a notification of a sale, share a coupon, or provide contact information whenever you place your NFC device in proximity of these Tec tiles.

Not only businesses, but also the consumers can create some NFC tags with their Tec Tiles to automate some tasks. Every time you come across your NFC tag, it will prompt your NFC capable phone to perform certain tasks. It can allow your phone to stop accepting calls when you go to bed, open an application like Maps when you strap it on to your car mount, or display a few reminders in the form of a text message or notification.

As I came across this announcement, a lot ideas sprung into my mind of what I can use it for, provided that NFC technology begins to proliferate further to many more devices, and if more people are actually using these NFC enabled devices. Some can be actually useful, and some can come across as pranks. One thing I could think of was that I could place one at my doorstep to remind me of those things that I usually forget to do or bring along before I leave the house.

What can you think of doing if you had one of these Tec Tiles?

Image Sources: nfc-research.at, abcnewsgo.com, Technode.com, nfc-forum.org, samsung.com, letsgomobile.org