Heads up, iPhone users: Apple will enable more useful NFC capabilities on compatible iPhones once iOS 12 rolls around, reports claim.
Soon, an iPhone may be used to open one's house and car doors, or pay for fares, says The Information. Apple is reportedly preparing for a massive software update that will make the NFC chips on iPhones more capable of other things, since at the moment it's mostly used for Apple Pay transactions.
Apple To Roll Out NFC Capabilities With iOS 12
Apple employees already have access to such features, according to the report — they're apparently using it to unlock offices and buildings at Apple's Cupertino headquarters. It should be noted that it's possible to pair an iPhone can with smart locks, but this process is done though Bluetooth, and many believe NFC is a safer technology because of issues such as unintended range.
The Information claims that in developing this feature, Apple has been working with HID Global since 2014, the company that made its security systems.
It has also been talking to card maker Cubic for years, the report adds. If true, this means Apple wants more iOS users to use their phone's NFC as a means of commuting in large cities around the world.
Apple Pay is already used by many to pay for fares in a few U.S. cities plus a number of other countries. In the UK, for example, iPhone customers can get access to trains just by tapping their phone on the contactless terminals. Meanwhile, iPhones sold in Japan include a FeliCa chip to achieve a similar feature; these iPhones work with the country's transit system. But Apple wants a bigger deployment, it appears. As such, collaborating with Cubic is exactly the opportunity it needs to roll this feature out to a wider audience.
Worldwide Developers Conference
Apple is set to announce these new NFC capabilities at its forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, which is tipped for June 4. Apparently, older iPhones with NFC chips will also be able to get the feature via a software update, says The Information. This is a big deal if accurate, since Apple typically drops software support for older iPhone models.
Aside from iOS 12, there are several other things Apple is expected to announce at the WWDC, including possible new iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models; the AirPower wireless charging pad, which was announced in 2017; the iPhone SE 2; and, perhaps, updates to macOS and watchOS.
Would you like Apple to roll out NFC capabilities for your iPhone? Is Apple too late in the NFC game? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!