The possibilities for reading NFC tags with the iPhone expanded steadily over the last years. Basically, reading NFC tags is possible from the iPhone 7 onwards, but required an additional app such as our NFC21 Reader. It was not until the iPhone XS that NFC tags with URLs could then be read without an app. To make it easier for users to use NFC with older devices, Apple has included its own NFC reader app in iOS 14, which can be accessed via the control centre. Especially for iPhone owners of the models iPhone 7 to iPhone X, this function is a welcomed addition, as no additional app has to be installed. This is not necessary for all newer devices (iPhone Xs or newer), as the reading of common types works without an app by simply tapping the iPhone to the NFC-Tag.
In this How2 we show how the NFC app can be added to the control centre for devices with iOS 14 and and iPhones from generation 7 - X. We then explain which NFC tags can be read in this way and for which tag contents an app is still required.
- NFC reader in iOS 14 Control Center
- Supported NFC tag types
- Unsupported NFC tag types
- Execute NFC tags
- Describe NFC tags
NFC reader in iOS 14 Control Center
We find the NFC reading function in the control centre, thus there where, among other things, the brightness / volume and for example the WLAN can be switched on and off.
The symbol looks like a WLAN symbol on the side. If this symbol is not visible in the Control Center, the control element can be added via Settings → Control Center.
1. NFC reader in iOS 14 Control Center
2. NFC reader in iOS 14 Control Center
Supported NFC tag types
You can now read an NFC tag by tapping on the NFC symbol. Simply hold the NFC tag against the top back of the iPhone.
The following tag types can be read with iOS 14 without an external app:
- phone number
Note on tag type "shortcut":
The shortcut to be read must also be on the same iPhone. That means it must be created with the app Shortcuts and written to an NFC tag with the NFC21 Tools app. How this works is explained in this manual using a simple example.
If the NFC tag has been written with a shortcut on another iPhone, the tag is not readable. NFC tags are therefore not suitable for passing shortcuts.
1. Supported NFC tag types
2. Supported NFC tag types
Unsupported NFC tag types
For reading other NFC tag types an external app is still required, for example NFC21 Reader.
The following tag types cannot be read directly in iOS:
- Adress / position
- Bluetooth and other datatypes
1. Unsupported NFC tag types
Execute NFC tags
To execute the content of the NFC tag, simply tap on the notification. The command does not need to be executed immediately. If, for example, an NFC tag with a URL has been read, but the website is not to be visited until a later date, this is no problem. The notification still appears in the message centre and can be selected there later.
However, once the notification has been selected and executed, it is not possible to trace back afterwards which NFC tag was read with which content.
If an overview of already read NFC tags is required, we recommend our app NFC21 Tools.
1. Execute NFC tags
2. Execute NFC tags
Describe NFC tags
With iOS 14 the reading of some common data types is supported directly by the operating system.
To write an NFC tag, an NFC writer app is still required. We recommend our App NFC21 Tools.
1. Describe NFC tags
With iOS 14 brings pleasant innovations with regard to the NFC function. With the addition of the NFC reader in the control centre, reading NFC tags will be even easier and faster in the future.