4 Uses For NFC Technology On The New iPhone

May 1, 2012

Yesterday we mentioned the recently discovered patent that shows, once again, that Apple is planning on bringing Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to the new iPhone. Although we mentioned two of the possible uses for NFC technology that the patent hints at–iWallet and playlist transfer–we can’t help but imagine that there are a lot of other possible uses for NFC on the iPhone 5. We’ll cover just 4 potential uses for NFC technology on the new iPhone–and we invite you, our readers, to share any other uses you can think of for NFC.

New iPhone NFC Use #1: Apps

Imagine the scenario: you’re talking to a friend about a cool new app you’ve discovered and you want to quickly (and easily) give this app to your friend. With NFC technology, you could share the app (and any others) with your new iPhone using friend by simply pressing a button. Rather than them having to navigate through the App Store in search of the app, they would easily be able to download the app themselves.

New iPhone NFC Use #2: Photos

While it’s true that you can share photos with friends via text and email, this isn’t very practical when you want to share several photos at once. With an NFC-enabled new iPhone, you could quickly and easily share multiple photos with another iPhone 5 through NFC technology. No need to attach them all to an email or text, as they’ll be seamlessly transferred from your iPhone 5 to another new iPhone.

New iPhone NFC Use #3: iTunes Gift Cards

Although there are a lot of free apps available, there’s always going to be an app or song that you want to buy. That’s why iTunes gift cards are a popular item among iPhone and iPod users. Imagine if you could send iTunes money to your friends electronically and immediately–rather than handing them a card that needs to be keyed in. It’d be pretty convenient for you and for them. We think Apple will implement an NFC feature that allows you to wirelessly send iTunes credit from your new iPhone to your friend’s new iPhone.

new iphone

New iPhone NFC Use #4: Notes and Calendar Appointments

This would be most useful for business professionals, but may also be very useful for family members and friends as well. With NFC technology, you could share your notes and calendar appointments with friends merely by pressing a single button. The note or calendar appointment would then be transferred to their new iPhone–or from their iPhone to your iPhone 5. Easy–and handy.

So what uses for NFC on the new iPhone would you like to see? Leave us a comment below and make your opinion heard.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Connell May 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I have a question. If this is true would it be possible to share payed apps/songs for free?

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JoeShmoe99 May 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Apple won't let the NFC be used to transfer songs bought from iTunes, but they could configure it for all other types of files to be transferable.

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JoeShmoe99 May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

This is a resounding "meh" in my view. NFC is a great invention, but it's not really all that useful. I'll respond to your points in order:

1. Transfer of Apps: Once an app is installed, you can't just transfer it over to another iPhone. You need the compressed installation file. So you wouldn't really be sending your friend "the app" but, rather, a link to the app at the iTunes store, which, coincidentally, will also allow Apple to keep track of who has which app. So if all you're doing is sending a link, why bother with NFC? You can do it via email, iMessage, text message, etc. Seems like a Rube Goldberg device for a very simple transaction.

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JoeShmoe99 May 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

2. Transfer of Photos: This one is potentially useful as it will allow users to transfer files between two iPhones without having to email them (and use limited bandwidth) or upload them to a computer and then download to the other user. But in order for this to be worthwhile, you would need to transfer lots of photos, and in order to do that, you would need to keep the two iPhones right next to each other for a prolonged period of time. (Speaking of which, how fast is NFC?) Inasmuch as all photos will be on iCloud, it seems easier to transfer photos from one user's iCloud to another's, but that may or may not be feasible from a security standpoint.

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JoeShmoe99 May 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

3. iTunes Gift Cards: How often is this really done in practice? Isn't it sort of like giving your friend $5? When would someone so desperately need to get something off iTunes that they would need to transfer iTunes cash immediately from their friend? This use won't pan out.

4. Calendar and Notes: We're talking about data in the amount of several kilobytes here. No need to do this via NFC. These would be much easier shared through iCloud or background emails.

In short, NFC is an awesome technology that doesn't have much use in the real world. A couple of months ago I commented on why iWallet isn't practical either. I foresee myself turning off the NFC option when I get the i5 and forgetting about it. But that's just me. I'd love to hear what others think.

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