How to use NFC tag reader on iPhone

what is nfc tag reader and how to use it on iphone

Did you know that your iPhone is equipped with an NFC chip that enables compatible iOS apps to connect with and read data from real-world objects? This has a range of uses, from payments to instant wireless connections and more. If you’re curious about this technology, let’s check out what exactly is involved and how to use the NFC tag reader on iPhone. 

What is a NFC tag reader?

NFC, or Near Field Communication, lets your iPhone interact with nearby devices to complete an action or exchange data. Supported devices can use it to read information from electronic tags.

Using NFC tag reader, you can shop, activate locks, open doors, and visually interact with any NFC-supported device with ease. From iOS 14, it is super easy to access it from your iPhone’s Control Center.

NFC tag reader supported iPhones

  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 Mini
  • iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max and 13 Mini

How to add NFC to the iPhone Control Center

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Go to Control Center.

    open settings and tap on control center on iphone running ios 14
  3. Scroll down and tap plus on the option labeled NFC Tag Reader.

    tap on plus to add nfc tag to control center on iphone

You’re finished! NFC tag reader is on your Control Center.

Note: You can add the NFC tag reader option to the Control Center only on iPhone 7 till iPhone X. On XR, XS, and later, there is no need to add this button thanks to Background Tag Reading which automatically kicks in when you bring these newer iPhones near an NFC tag.

How to use NFC tag reader in iOS 15

Open your iPhone’s Control Center. Tap NFC Tag Reader to access it. Then, hold your iPhone near a valid NFC tag to scan the content.

swipe up to open control center and tap on nfc tag button on iphone

App Clips is another significant feature on iPhone. It improves the functionality of NFC tag reader by allowing you to use product services without downloading full applications.

App Clips work with Apple Pay services, meaning users can now access NFC tags and make payments without providing credit card details.

use nfc tag reader on iphone running ios 14

iOS 15 is considered to be a breakthrough for NFC-supported functionalities on your iPhone. With the help of App Clips, it’s easier to make Apple Pay transactions and pay for your food and drinks than ever before.

If you’ve used the feature in iOS 13, you’ll appreciate the new shortcut and the implementation of App Clips. Give it a try and share your experience in the comment section below. We want to hear from you!

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2 comments
  1. I can’t see the option in setting on iPhone 11 but see it on iPhone 8. I read somewhere that it only works on first tap. Is that the case?

    1. Hi, there is nothing to worry and what you are witnessing is perfectly fine. On iPhone 7 upto iPhone X, you can add the NFC Tag Reader button in the Control Center. But iPhone XS, XR, and later (like your iPhone 11) support background tag reading. This means that you do not need to trigger the NFC reader manually. It works automatically on these newer iPhone models when you bring the device close to an NFC tag. If interested, I would recommend you spend 2 minutes on seeing this Apple Developer page. It is informative and enjoyable. https://developer.apple.com/documentation/corenfc/adding_support_for_background_tag_reading

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