Apple and NFC: Another Big Step Forward

Apple and NFC: Another Big Step Forward

21 September 2018 | Dirk Kolassa


Up until 12 September 2018, Apple had approached the subject of NFC in a “step-by-step” mode.


Yet with the announcement of IOS 12 and the new XS, XS Max and XR iPhone models, Apple has taken quite a big step: users of these new iPhones will be able to scan NFC tags without an app, using background tag reading. Considering the market significance of Apple’s most iconic product family, that recent date in September 2018 marks an important milestone in the global evolution of NFC technology.


We at Smartrac congratulate Apple on its decision to allow users to scan NFC tags using background tag reading, without the need for an app. This allows us to help brands, retailers and industrial clients create amazing customer experiences that will be enhanced by effortless – or should we say app-less – NFC tag reading.


Previous iPhone generations required users to open a dedicated application and initiate a scan for NFC tags. Although dedicated apps offer potential security benefits – and will remain usable with existing models under IOS 12 as well as the new-generation phones – they come with a small drawback: the user needs to have installed these apps in advance. With the new iPhone models XS, XS Max and XR and their pre-installed IOS 12 operating system, any user can now read tags automatically, as well as launch URLs (and several other data formats) directly from NFC tags – even from the phone’s home screen or lock screen.


Why is Apple’s decision to treat NFC that way so noteworthy? It is because branded product manufacturers will truly benefit from it because – with Apple’s increasing support – NFC was, is, and will increasingly be the method of choice for product digitization by serving two equally important purposes: to make products smart to deliver exclusive digital content, turning them into customer experience platforms; and to enable customer product authentication that combats counterfeit goods, medical fraud and retail fraud.


Just as Apple continues to streamline the NFC-related experience, Smartrac is dedicated to creating and deploying NFC-based IoT solutions for enhanced customer experience and effective brand protection.


If you want to read more about Apple’s enhanced NFC tag-reading functionality, check out MacRumors.


If you are a brand, retailer or industrial users and want to take advantage of product digitization and Smartrac’s related IoT solutions, we should talk.


Picture copyright © Apple Inc.