NFC on the iPhone 6 to be a one-trick pony (for now)

Last week’s launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus afforded Apple the opportunity to give its smartphone lineup some hardware it had been missing for years: an NFC transceiver. While NFC has been present on Android devices going back several generations, and we’ve even seen it come to platforms like Windows Phone, Apple has been hesitant to follow suit. But this year was different, as Apple didn’t just launch new hardware, but also its Apple Pay mobile payments system, finally giving it a solid reason to justify NFC’s presence; just as you might do with Google Wallet or Softcard (née Isis), Apple Pay will support tap-to-pay at retail POS terminals. Well, good – Apple Pay may have been the reason to embrace NFC after all this time, but now that it’s here, the floodgates are open, and devs can start using NFC for all sorts of things, right? Not so fast, as a new report clarifies that NFC will remain an Apple-Pay-only thing – for the moment, at least.

Say goodbye to hopes of tapping iPhones together to share media, or effortlessly pairing accessories, as Apple has confirmed that it doesn’t intend to open access to its hardware’s NFC capabilities beyond Apple Pay for a good year. Comparisons are already being drawn to Touch ID – remember how it took until WWDC back in June for Apple to announce plans to open its fingerprint scanner to third-party devs?

Is Apple being overly controlling here? Or is it just trying to give NFC a fighting chance by waiting until the hardware is out there in sufficient numbers before clearing devs to really start taking advantage of it?

Source: Cult of Mac

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!