iOS 13 Core NFC Updates | iPhone 7, 8, X, XS, XR, 11

Hello everyone and welcome to the iOS 13 Core NFC update video. Today we’re going to be talking about the new functionality Apple has unlocked with the release of iOS 13. My name is Ashton and let’s get started.

First, let’s recap on what Core NFC is. Core NFC is the name Apple uses to describe the built-in functionality that iPhones 7 and beyond are able to utilize when it comes to reading NFC tags. With iOS 11 and 12, Apple allowed users to begin utilizing the built-in iOS NFC capabilities for their own purposes by unlocking the function required to query the reader from within an app. 

For iPhones 7 and 8, a button press is required to utilize the NFC reader whereas with the iPhone X and beyond, the reading can happen whenever a tag is present. Additionally, in previous iOS versions, the tag types you could read were limited and you were unable to write to a tag.

With iOS 13, Apple has expanded the tag types that can be read with Core NFC. Now, the following tag types can be read; NFC Tag Types 1 through 5, ISO 7816, ISO 15693, FeliCa™, and MIFARE® tags. 

Additionally, users now have the ability to write to tags and lock them. This means I can format the information I want to be read, write it to a tag, and lock that tag to prevent the data from being changed or overwritten. 

Lastly, Apple has finally enabled users to read the Unique ID from NFC tags, also known as the Chip Serial Number (CSN).

So, you may be wondering what this is really good for. NFC is still a fairly new technology for mobile phones to utilize. As mobile NFC technology develops and the market gets ahold of it, people are discovering new ways to make use of these features.

Most of us are already familiar with the initial use of iOS NFC, Tap to Pay. This allows someone to tap their phone against an NFC reader connected to a POS system in place of swiping a credit card. At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced a few new use cases and also announced a few new examples of how NFC could be used. 

In addition to Apple Pay, Apple showcased how an iPhone could read an NFC tag on a product in order to display additional product information. In another example, they showed how an iPhone user could read an NFC tag to get access to a virtual coupon. 

Combined with the announcement on the ability to instantly join a companies loyalty program by scanning a tag, used by companies such as Dairy Queen, Dave & Buster’s, and more, Apple is really showing how valuable Core NFC’s new capabilities are for businesses. 

The usefulness of mobile NFC doesn’t stop there though. You can use NFC to control settings in your phone, start multi-step workflows with the new Siri update, and collect all kinds of data. 

For example, NFC tags are available with data pre-written to them, depending on the supplier. You could then use those tags with serialized values pre-written to them to track assets or take attendance by creating a database with those values. 

One last note, all of this functionality isn’t new, it’s only new to Apple. At Serialio, we have been doing this for years with barcodes, QR codes, and NFC on Android.

Have questions? Thinking about using NFC? Contact us to discuss your NFC tag needs.