Your iPhone's NFC will suddenly be able to do more because... Brexit

Your iPhone's NFC will suddenly be able to do more because... Brexit
As a highly unexpected but still pleasant side effect of the UK's Brexit referendum, Apple will unlock more of the iPhone's NFC features than its handsets shipped with. Those poor expat souls that are caught in the Brexit crosshairs will now have to re-apply for residence permits and such but since there are millions of those in the UK, the government decided to throw them a bone with an app that speeds things up.

The app only asks the downtrodden expats with a British mortgage but not British citizenship to fill a request form, take a picture, and scan their EU passport with the NFC chip on their phone. The thing is, however, that those who only have iPhones handy, won't be able to read the smart passports' NFC-scannable details, as Apple only supports the NDEF data format at launch. Back in March, the UK home secretary Sajid Javid went on record for the Guardian to promise that:


Whew, and now NFC World is reporting that the UK government's negotiation process with Apple is indeed finished, and the EU passport data format that can be scanned with NFC will be added to iPhones young and old. Thank you, EU Exit: ID Document Check app, for being at the forefront of mobile technology. 

Mr David was quick to point out that even though the Home Office app excluded nearly half of all phone-owning expats by only providing a way to scan it on an Android phone, there are 50 locations to go and get your passport scanned, or you can get assistance over the phone. "Our EU Settlement Scheme is now up and running and after a successful launch, over 280,000 EU citizens have applied so that they can continue to live their lives as they do now," he added, assuring exactly nobody just yet on the hot topic of Brexit.

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4 Comments

1. luke22

Posts: 22; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

Glad to hear this. Well, hopefully another companies will follow Apple's moves on this matter.

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6376; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

According to the article apple was the only company that needed to get on board with this, because all the other companies phones run Android (with the exception of maybe a few Windows Phones still floating around out there).

3. det_bradlee

Posts: 153; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

All NFC equipped Android phones (nearly anything possibly in use today) have had this ability since day one.

4. iloveapps

Posts: 166; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

That’s the main reason why I use apple, they carefully study the use of a feature where privacy and security is still the main concern.

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