All current iPhones come equipped with NFC technology, and for the most part, it's been used sufficiently to execute contactless Apple Pay transactions. Beyond that, it's remained largely underutilized.
However, that could change soon. Noted tech tipster Steve Troughton-Smith and the 9to5Mac team claim to have details of developer-friendly updates that Apple will unveil at its next Worldwide Developers Conference this June. NFC support would be in line for a serious upgrade, apparently.
Apple Prepares Big NFC Upgrades
As 9to5Mac claims, Apple will finally give app developers the option to read NFC tags based on ISO 7816, typically ID and access cards; FeliCa, a Japanese tap-based system; and MiFare, a popular mass transit platform.
That means iPhone users might soon be able to use their device to, say, enter their office or ride a bus without pulling out wads of cash for the fare. The upgrade may also lay the groundwork for Apple's rumored tracking tag, although Engadget notes there's nothing in the leak that specifically calls out trackers.
Aside from NFC upgrades, Apple might also be preparing other expanded features for developers. Siri, for instance, could soon offer a host of new intents for third-party apps, including media controls, search, voice calling, and travel information. In layman's terms, this means Siri will have more apps it can be paired with, which in turn means added voice command-based functions.
There's also mention of a brand-new framework for augmented reality, including an app that will enable the creation of AR experiences visually instead of through plain, raw code.
Taptic Engine, Marzipan, Others
Developers might soon also make better use of the built-in Taptic Engine on newer iPhones, but it's not clear what this implies. There's also talk of Project Marzipan, Apple's framework for converting iOS apps to run on macOS, which would let developers use features specific to Mac such as the menu bar and multiple windows.
All that said, plenty of unknowns remain still about Apple's intentions for iOS and macOS, but expect a lot more details once WWDC rolls nearer. There's a possibility Apple overhauls both operating systems in a major way, but that's purely guesswork at the moment. It's not clear if Apple will unveil new hardware at its event in June. Even still, these rumored software upgrades could provide a significant impact on how Apple users interact with the world through their devices.
As always, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more. If you have any thoughts, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!