Apple might let third parties use more iPhone NFC functionality

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You might be able to swipe your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max to get into work or pay for food – with services other than Apple Pay. Apple might allow third parties access to more NFC capability in iPhones, sources told TechSpot (opens in new tab), which could extend to tap-to-pay and authentication functionality in non-Apple software.

Currently, Apple only lets developers access to NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF), which could, for example, enable users to swap contact information. 

Apple is allegedly opening up iPhone tech to other NFC formats, according to the unnamed sources. One of these, ISO 7816, is usually used for identification and access cards; others, FeliCa and MiFare, enable financial tap-to-pay and/or metro card authentication largely in Japan, but also Hong Kong, mainland China, Indonesia, and elsewhere. 

Tap-to-pass?

While this info comes from anonymous sources, it still hints at a more exciting future that would let consumers roll more authentication and actions into their iPhone. That’s what Apple’s been keen to do anyway – look no further than the baffling Apple credit card

But it could also let consumers use their iPhones for more mundane tasks, like swiping to get through work security or into hotel rooms. It would also, assumedly, let folks use alternative payment services through NFC.

We’ll have to wait for more official confirmation, but with WWDC 2019 coming, we’ll likely hear either way if this feature is really coming.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.