There were already a number of enhancements last fall with iOS 13. This included reading and writing NFC TAGS (NDEF standard) and Apple also allowed direct access to important NFC protocols. Especially app developers thus had a number of special functions like authentication, counters,…at their disposal.
iOS 14: Extensions with ISO 15693 support
Since NFC technology works with the help of a magnetic field, its range is usually only a few centimeters. NFC technology is considered particularly secure and is mainly used in services that enable contactless payment. Beyond that, however, NFC technology is also ideally suited for authenticating a user or for the classic data transfer of music and photos.
On older devices, users had to install an NFC scanner app on iOS to use the respective services. But with iOS 14’s support for ISO 15693, Apple continues to push the use of NFC tags on its devices. The ISO 15693 standard for vicinity tags defines that they operate at 13.56 MHz and allow a defined read distance.
In this respect, the ISO 15693 standard differs significantly from conventional NFC specifications, as the reading range considerably exceeds the usual 1 – 10 centimeters. A typical application for tags supported by the ISO 15693 standard is, for example, registration for the lending of books and other media. In addition, Apple has implemented numerous extensions that enable higher dynamics when reading or sending data packets. Multiple blocks can be read faster, key updates and authentications for various services are supported.
iPhone 7, 8 and X: NFC reader apps become useless
Since devices running iOS 14 already have an NFC reader implemented in the Control Center, there is no need to download an NFC reader from the App Store. Those who still wish to do so can, of course, continue to do so. The new App Clips framework in iOS 14 makes the use of NFC tags particularly interesting for Apple users. Since the integrated NFC reader runs in the background, the user only has to scan the NFC tag. The necessary app clip is then loaded and the user can log in and pay using the Apple feature. If the screen is unlocked and a network connection is available, no further application needs to be opened for this. This functionality competes with payment systems that use a QR code. This is because a QR code must always be called manually before the user can use the application.
With the implementation of NFC technology in iOS 14, Apple increases the user-friendliness and intuitive operation on its devices.
The convenient use of NFC tags makes everyday life easier, as the user does not have to open additional NFC reader apps. While iPhone 7/8 or X users used to need a scanner app, [ this is no longer necessary thanks to the integrated reader. Interactions between smartphone and NFC chip are now totally easy on all iPhone models from version 7 . The user does not need to open any special application or Safari.