iPhone users will be able to scan German ID cards, passports, and more when iOS 13 rolls out this fall, according to local authorities.
The functionality will allow digital versions of those documents to be carried on an iOS device so that they are always accessible. Recent reports have confirmed users in Japan will be able to do the same with national ID cards.
Apple has been building NFC chips into the iPhone for years now, but in existing versions of iOS, they are used only for Apple Pay. iOS 13 changes that, giving developers the opportunity to take advantage of NFC for the first time.
One of the many benefits of this is the ability to load compatible ID cards and other important documents onto your iPhone so that you always have a copy in your pocket.
Germany is the latest to confirm its residents will get to do just that.
iOS 13 opens up iPhone’s NFC chip
Germany’s interior ministry has confirmed users will be able to load national ID cards, passports, and residence permits onto their iPhone by scanning their embedded NFC tags in iOS 13.
Authorities say they have been working with Apple for a long time to negotiate NFC access ahead of iOS 13’s release this fall. Other nations are expected to confirm similar functionality for their residents in the coming months.
In Japan, iPhone users will have the ability to scan national identity cards with iOS 13. The U.K. government has also announced that its controversial Brexit app, which allows E.U. citizens to apply for “settled status” in the U.K., will work on Apple devices by the end of 2019.
iOS 13 will do more with NFC
Opening up NFC in iOS 13 allows for a lot more than just scanning identity documents. Developers will, with Apple’s approval, also have the ability to build apps that interact with NFC tags — just like on Android.
What’s more, NFC tags can be used to trigger Shortcuts. So you’ll be able to perform all kinds of actions — like controlling HomeKit devices and changing system settings — simply by tapping your iPhone.