Apple is expected to unveil iOS 12 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), scheduled to begin on June 4. The latest iteration of Apple's mobile operating system will bring a bunch of new features and functionalities, and interestingly, one of the features that have been highlighted in a report online suggests that iPhones may soon get the ability to work as contactless payment devices and secure authenticators.
A report by The Information suggests that iOS 12 will bring changes to the NFC chips embedded in the present crop of iPhones. These changes will make full use of the CoreNFC framework first introduced in iPhones with iOS 11, which in turn will allow iPhones to work as mediums of contactless interactions. Such interactions may include (un)locking of encryption-enabled hotel doors, making quick payments during transit, and more. The CoreNFC framework was presented to developers along with the NFC chip to build services, but the limited nature of its API along with the requirement of a specific system modal sheet meant that it could only be used for a specific set of outputs, which restricted its use cases.
Now, with the impending update, Apple is reportedly making a set of key changes to the CoreNFC API, which The Information reports will open up better abilities for the NFC chip to be used. Apple is reportedly already testing the abilities of its NFC chip in its Apple Park headquarters, where employees are using the NFC chips in their iPhones to unlock doors. Further details about improved NFC abilities of iPhones should be made available when Apple takes to the stage at McEnery Convention Centre in San Jose, next week.