Technology

iOS 13 Will Be Able To Read NFC Tags In German ID Cards and Passports

NFC functionality scan Germany’s ID NFC Tags with iPhones
ThorstenF / Pixabay

It was recently reported that iPhones running on iOS 13 will be able to scan Japan’s national ID cards. Now, German authorities have also confirmed that after the iOS 13 update it will be possible to scan Germany’s ID NFC Tags with iPhones.

Functionality to scan Germany’s ID NFC Tags with iPhones

As per the announcement by Germany’s Interior ministry (first spotted by tech blog iphone-ticker.de), after the iOS 13 update, Apple will allow users to scan Germany’s ID NFC Tags with iPhones, including national ID cards, residence permits and biometric passports. Such functionality will allow users to carry a digital version of these documents on their iOS device.

The Ministry of the Interior also notes that the support for NFC in iOS will assist citizens to benefit from third-party apps such as ID, ePass, and eVisum to clear security checks at international airports.

Authorities say they have long been in discussion with Apple over allowing NFC access of the crucial documents. Further, the ministry also revealed that the government’s AusweisApp2 will be updated for iOS 13 to support the digital ID function.

Such use of NFC tags must not come as a surprise considering many Android phones have been offering such functionality for years now. Nevertheless, it is still good to see Apple expanding the NFC functionality.

Expanding NFC functionality

So far, Apple has limited the NFC reader in iPhones to support Apple Pay only. With the iOS 13, however, Apple is expanding the NFC functionality to allow iPhones to scan more NFC chips.

The first instance of Apple supporting a third-party app with its NFC feature came when the company agreed to support the Brexit app. As per the U.K. government, the Brexit app, which helps EU residents to apply for settled status in the U.K., will support Apple devices by the end of the year.

Last week, a report from The Verge noted that the iPhone users in Japan will be allowed to scan their national identity cards with iOS 13. In the coming months, more countries are expected to confirm a similar functionality for their residents.

As of now, there is no information as to when Japan or Germany’s ID NFC Tags scanning with iPhones will go into effect. Apple’s iOS 13 is currently in the beta testing phase. Earlier this week, the company came up with the second developer beta for the iOS 13. The final release is expected to come in September along with the new iPhones.

More uses of NFC

Expanding the NFC functionality in iOS 13 would prove much more useful than just scanning the identity documents. Similar to Android, the iOS developers will be able to create apps that work with the NFC tags. Developers, however, will need approval from the U.S. firm before their apps can support the NFC feature on iPhones.

Moreover, the NFC tags can also assist users in triggering shortcuts. Such functionality would allow users to carry out all types of actions, such as controlling HomeKit devices or playing podcasts, by just tapping the iPhone.

For instance, currently, for playing a podcast you first have to wake up the phone, open the podcast app, find the playlist and the episode and then click play. Also, if you want to play it on a speaker, you will have to select the specific AirPlay speaker.

With iOS 13, however, you can replace all these steps with just one action, i.e. tapping your iPhone onto that specific speaker. This has been made possible because of the Shortcuts’ new features in iOS 13 along with the podcast app’s own Siri Shortcuts integration.

After the iOS 13 update, it will be possible to run a shortcut by just tapping the iPhone on an NFC tag and connect to a specific AirPlay speaker.

Separately, last month Apple announced that it is adding support for NFC stickers and tags, which will trigger Apple Pay even if a user does not have the vendor’s app on their device. Once such a functionally is available, shopping will become much more convenient and quick.

Moreover, it will also allow companies to get rid of the extra terminals needed to facilitate the payment via Apple Pay. The new functionality will also allow users to instantly enroll in loyalty cards via the Apple Wallet app.