At last, Apple is finally incorporating near field communication (NFC) to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, although for now, it is going to be used for Apple Pay only when it launches in a few days.
As reported by Cult of Mac, sources at Apple have confirmed that the new iPhones will be using the NFC chip, albeit on a relatively limited capacity. Those who were hoping to use NFC for other purposes (like pairing speakers with one's phone or integrating with the apps in one's device) will have to hold their horses for now.
Just like it did for the Touch ID on the iPhone 5S, the phone manufacturing giant is keeping NFC from developers' hands at launch time. But unlike the Touch ID, NFC will not likely be aggressively promoted by Apple as a major feature of iPhone 6. Instead, it will be positioned as a component of Apple Pay.
NFC technology has various applications -- it can be used in pairing two devices, opening apps, sharing files, or controlling automated functions at home. Apple has been using Bluetooth LE for its iBeacons and other location services, but by opening NFC to other developers, iPhone's capabilities could be further expanded upon in the years to come.
Still, it is not all sad news for those hoping to NFC application programming interfaces (APIs) in the foreseeable future -- according to some experts, it seems that the NXP-made NFC chip used in the iPhone 6 is able to provide open access to the NFC controller.
Apple has already demonstrated that the new iPhone's NFC chip is capable of so much more other than just being an Apple Pay feature. During last week's event, an Apple Watch was shown opening a hotel room with the use of NFC.
But Apple Pay is still a relatively new service from Apple, and perhaps the phone maker feels it best to keep NFC closed off for now while it is still exploring and perfecting its application in the mobile payment system it is developing.
The NFC chip in the iPhone 6 is utilized to send a unique code that is supposed to authorize payment transactions, which are then confirmed via fingerprint scanning on the Touch ID. As for the Apple Watch, its NFC chip will allow payments by way of older iPhone models. However, the Apple Watch will need to be authorized once every day and will remain usable for payment transactions as long as it is being worn on the user's wrist.
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