A new Core NFC function which forms part of iOS 11 will add support for NFC tag reading to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple has revealed. Support for NFC tag reading is also being added to the Apple Watch with the release of watchOS 4.
With Core NFC, iPhones will be able to “detect NFC tags and read messages that contain NDEF data,” Apple says.
“Using Core NFC, you can read Near Field Communication (NFC) tags of types 1 through 5 that contain data in the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF). To read a tag, your app creates an NFC NDEF reader session and provides a delegate.
“A running reader session polls for NFC tags and calls the delegate when it finds tags that contain NDEF messages, passing the messages to the delegate. The delegate can read the messages and handle conditions that can cause a session to become invalid.”
iOS 11 was unveiled on June 5 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, is now available in beta and is due to roll out to consumers “in the fall”. The addition of support for NFC tag reading for Apple Watch devices was revealed during the opening keynote at the event using an example of an Apple Watch being used to connect with gym equipment.
Apple introduced support for NFC card emulation with the launch of Apple Pay on the iPhone 6 and 6S in September 2014. Until now, however, Apple devices have been unable to operate in any other mode.