Apple adds support for NFC tags to iPhone 7 and Apple Watch

Apple adds NFC tag reading to iPhone

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.

  • This might be very interesting for us. On the other hand it’s more job to do now as we will have to build another app for business 🙂

  • elevtechlift

    I really hope there are apps that would turn an iPhone/Watch into a lite POS or at least a NFC reader for contactless IC cards including Octopus cards, etc.

  • Dominik

    does anybody know wheter an application can be started based on the information stored in one of the NDEFs? Or must the application actively access the NFC interface?

    • I am assuming you can encode an intent handler uri into the tag to launch an application as intent handler URIs are common. It is certainly one of the more common uses for Android devices/tags.

      • Dominik

        As far as I have seen, this is not possible as the application which wants to read NFC tags must be active, and once it has activated NFC, the tags are only read for 60 seconds, so starting an app based on info stored on a tag is not (yet) possible.