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Apple To Support NFC...

Apple has announced details relating to IOS 11 will have support to allow iPhones to read NFC tags and NDEF messages! This means that all iPhone 7 and newer will be able to read NFC tags just like Android.

Since 2010 Android devices have had the ability to read NFC tags but Apple have been resilient in blocking any advance in this area. The iPhone 6 was the first iPhone to incorporate a NFC scanner but this was specifically tied down so it would only work with ApplePay. But now there is a seachange at Apple HQ where they have now opened up their operating system to allow for the potential to scan a growing range of NFC enabled services.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, Apple gave their first hint that the use of the iPhone chip was being extended beyond ApplePay when it showed the Apple Watch syncing data with gym equipment. But a new developer document says that third-party apps will be able to use it too.

The document was first highlighted by Engadget.

"The new framework appears to let the chip in the latest iPhones read any tags – not just Apple Pay tags – and take action on them based on the phone’s location. NFC could open up more ways for iOS apps to communicate with connected devices and iPhones could also replace NFC-based keycards or transit passes like London’s Oyster card and the Bay Area’s Clipper card."

Although this is a great step forward for the NFC industry, Apple are still holding back on some of the extensive functionality offered by this technology. It appears that iPhones will only be able to read NFC tags when they are open on the phone so they will not be able to "pop up" notifications automatically when a tag is detected.

What does this mean for Tap2Tag?

So it appears that, without an app running on the iPhone, it will still not work as effectively with a Tap2Tag device as it currently does with Android phones. However it does mean that we can now start planning for a IOS Tap2Tag app as part of our development plans.

Android still represents the most popular operating system in the world. In the last quarter of 2016, 81.7% of all phones sold worldwide were Android compared to just 17.9% for iOS.

When will this be available?

You can download the new iOS 11 beta right now for iPhone 7 and later devices. The final iOS 11 release date is expected to be released this autumn.



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