Apple has seemingly ever been convinced that NFC is worth including in its iOS devices. Nearly every new big smartphone has it, yet Apple refuses to jump on the trend. Last year, instead of introducing an NFC-equipped iPhone 5s, the company devised AirDrop functionality in iOS 7, giving users similar functionality without needing tweaked hardware. So will the next iPhone be any different? A few patents suggest Apple is very much interested in what NFC could offer iOS users, including the ability to easily gift friends and family media (apps, music, movies, etc.) by tapping phones together.
The first patent—iTunes gifting via NFC— describes a method in which iOS users could tap devices together to gift each other movies and music. Neat functionality, sure, but something that adds value to the iOS platform? Not necessarily, especially when it's already easy as it is to gift media to others—NFC would just introduce an actual physical interaction with another NFC-equipped iOS device. It could certainly be used in other situations, too, like passing along photos, videos, and more, but Apple has AirDrop that takes care of that, so, again, the notion of tapping devices together might not be needed in the iOS ecosystem.
Apple's second NFC patent deals with mobile payments, which hasn't really been popular enough to consider a "success" just yet. Google Wallet has promised a brighter, wallet-less future, but thus far we haven't seen much change—enough to warrant leaving your cards at home, at least. Apple's patent details a situation where the NFC technology would perform a "handshake" with a payment terminal, and then switch to another wireless system to complete that transaction. When you bring Apple's Passbook into the equation, that opens up a lot of possibilities, and certainly seems more enticing than bumping devices with friends.
Patents are never a sure indication of what to expect in the future, but occasionally we do see something make it into the final product. The next iPhone is still months away more than likely, so we'll have plenty of time to mull over whether or not Apple will bestow NFC upon its iPhone 6. Apple has always maintained that NFC isn't at that stage where its use is justified, especially when the company has options like AirDrop. As far back as the iPhone 5, Apple said customers are unlikely to notice NFC is even there. But that might change when the next iPhone hits—or these patents could just be for a "what if" scenario that will never happen.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Maximize the battery life of your iPhone X with these battery cases
Not only can these cases protect your phone, but they can also keep the battery going and going.