Apple and NFC
Urban Card applications are becoming more and more common with the ongoing digitization of everyday life. One of the newest is the app of the Town and Commune of Piaseczno by Warsaw in my home country – Poland (only one month has passed since the realise). The production of this application turned out to be an interesting because it brought me an adventure with Apple equipment – an adventure, during which my anger to Apple (another thing not available for the developers!), was convert into useful function which improves the comfort of users.
But one by one – the assumption was that the application should use the dedicated API and enable reading of the cards by NFC. The cards were produced in one of the secure, encrypted standards that … iOS does not support. Strictly speaking, it supports, but only the first, fully open and unencrypted card sector, containing so-called public tag. In Apple’s assumptions, NFC is to be used to service Apple Pay payments and possibly to read publicly available NFC tags in places such as museums or shopping malls. Reading the encrypted sectors of cards with NFC is simply impossible in iOS.
For a creative programmer, however, there is no walls. A bar code is printed on each card to easy identify she, and the iPhone and iPad are equipped with a camera. Therefore, the NFC for iOS can be replaced by a barcode scanner. And so – the limit imposed by Apple in iOS gives the Android users useful feature – NFC and bar code card reading.