Jun 27, 2017 | Updated: 04:24 PM EDT

iOS 11: iPhone’s NFC Chip Features Could Expand Beyond Apple Pay

Jun 07, 2017 11:41 AM EDT

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List of devices having iOS 11
(Photo : Justin Sullivan / Getty images) Apple's SVP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi speaks during the opening keynote address the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.

At the annual developer conference this week, Apple introduced a new and updated mobile-based operating system iOS 11. A key feature of the new OS is that Apple has now integrated Apple Pay directly into iMessage, the native messaging application developed by themselves. Apple Pay will now let users pay up for pending amounts within the conversation itself eliminating the need to open the app separately

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A report from the Appleinsider suggests a developer document for iOS 11 will expand the capabilities of Near-field Communications (NFC) and not just restrict it to Apple Pay. The report published also indicates Apple will let developers build their applications compatible with NFC and NFC-compliant accessories like the NFC tag. This will be possible with the help of 'NFC Data Exchange Format' or NDEF.

Referring to the published notes, the NDEF reading is currently supported on their latest generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. With NFC technology expanding further with the iOS 11 update, Apple is indirectly competing with major payment services like Venmo by PayPal and Square Cash. As noted from a report by The Verge, the expansion of NFC capabilities was displayed during the Watch OS 4 announcement.

Developers will be able to access NFC tags to give more information to their users about a physical environment and various real-word objects in it. The published document also cited few examples like products in a store and various exhibits in a museum. Until the iOS 11 update, Apple had restricted the usage of NFC only to contactless payments at the system level within iOS.

With the help of the new NFC core framework, the NFC chip on the iPhones can now be used for various functionalities. As mentioned in the report, iOS 11 update will now enable wireless pairing of Bluetooth speakers due to the new core framework. There's also a possibility of Apple adding more features to their existing digital wallet app.