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List of compatible phones: Click hereThe NFC reader in iPhones is at the top of the phone.Android phones vary.

The iPhone has been equipped with a NFC chip for some time now. All newer iPhone models since the iPhone 6 feature the Near Field Communication technology, allowing e.g. cashless and contactless payments via Apple Pay. Nevertheless, very few users know how this short-range radio standard works and how to use it. We show you what you need to know about NFC and how to use it.

What is NFC?
NFC is one of those terms that Apple brings up with every new iPhone. Yet, many users still have no clue what it means and how to use it. Nevertheless, the functionality can be explained quickly: NFC is a radio technology that enables data to be transmitted between devices over a short distance – a maximum of 1,6 in – and is therefore similar to the well-known Bluetooth technology. Since the successful exchange of data requires the immediate proximity of transmitter and receiver, NFC is particularly secure because it’s more difficult to spy out the device.
However, with NFC, only small amounts of data written on electronic tags (so called NFC tags) that are attached to physical objects can be transferred. There are NFC tags, for example, in the form of small stickers that contain an NFC chip that can be described with various information. This could be, for example, product information on specific products in the supermarket or information on exhibits in the museum.

Which iPhones are NFC-enabled?
Although the first NFC-enabled smartphones were released in 2008, Apple only started to equip all newer iPhone models with an NFC module since the iPhone 6. Accordingly, the following iPhone models feature an NFC chip:
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st & 2nd gen.), iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR as well as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro (Max)

How to use NFC on the iPhone
Depending on the iPhone model, there are different ways to use the NFC function. Starting with iOS 14, the “NFC Tag Reader” function is available by default to all users who have at least an iPhone 7. So if you own an iPhone 7 or newer, you no longer need a third-party app to read NFC tags. You can turn this feature on by tapping the NFC button in the control center and hold your iPhone near an NFC tag to trigger an action.


If the button is not visible on your screen, you may need to add it to the Control Center. Proceed as follows:
1. First open the Settings app on your iPhone.
2. Then select the option “Control Center”.
3. Scroll down and tap the green plus button to the left of “NFC Tag Reader”.


The iPhone XS (Max), iPhone XR, iPhone 11 as well as iPhone 11 Pro (Max) and iPhone SE (2nd gen.) models, on the other hand, feature the so-called “Background Tag Reading” function. NFC tags can thus be read automatically as soon as the iPhone screen is switched on without having to start the NFC Tag Reader first. The iPhone then looks for corresponding signals in the background. When a tag is detected, a notification appears on the display, prompting the user to open the item in the respective NFC app.



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