iOS 12 May Introduce New NFC Features, Like a Virtual Transit Card

Apple is said to be “making a significant change” to NFC, or near-field communication in iOS 12. In doing so, the wireless protocol, first introduced with the iPhone 6, could move beyond Apple Pay payments, according to The Information.
The report indicates that Apple wants the iPhone to be used at more contactless points, including as a means to securely unlock a hotel room door, or serve as a virtual transit card. In these instances, it would mean a more secure contactless instance. Technically speaking, some hotels already use the iPhone as a door key, but in those cases it’s based on Bluetooth Low Energy protocols. That isn’t as secure as an NFC contact point, so it would make sense to expand the functionality.

The report states that Apple is already testing this feature, and that the company has teamed up with HID Global (which developed Apple’s security system) to roll out the feature at Apple Campus. As a result, employees are already using their iPhones to access the campus.

Besides changes to NFC, iOS 12 could also feature an overhaul to the UI for importing photos, support for horizontal Face ID, a redesigned Stocks app, and more. We could also see an overall to the iBooks app. Despite these changes, iOS 12 is likely to focus on reliability and performance improvements, pushing other planned updates to iOS 13 in 2019.


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