AirDrop plus new patent grants make it look like Apple is set to snub NFC for good
Apple announced the launch of AirDrop this week, a data transfer service that enables users to share pictures, documents and other media using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Additionally, yesterday Apple was granted patents for an iWallet that outline parental and employee controls, which along with its launch of AirDrop show it may be considering bypassing near field communications (NFC) in favour of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.
The mobile money market was shocked and disappointed when Apple failed to include NFC in iPhone 5, and the megalith gave no indication at the time when it would be releasing devices with the technology. The blow has now been exasperated as Apple appears to be working on a way to create mobile money transfers using a mobile wallet, without the use of NFC.
The patent granted yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office relates to a new Mobile Pay iTunes service and also to systems, methods and devices used to control those rules. It outlines the setting of rules for controlling subsidiary accounts, where the account holder can allow other people to use the wallet with their permission. Last week Apple was granted a patent for Simplified Wireless Data Transfers, using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Taking both of these patent awards together and alongside AirDrop, it seems Apple is indeed working on a mobile wallet that does not use NFC.
Apple now has over 575 million user store accounts with credit card information on hand as of yesterday, stated CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, at the company's World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC). At WWDC Apple announced AirDrop, which provides a type of peer to peer data transfer experience.
AirDrop is a data content sharing service; users can share photos, videos, contacts and anything else they want to send from any app, using a Share button. They just need to tap Share, then select the person they want to share with, no setup required. Users are automatically visible in AirDrop to their contacts who are also running iOS 7, but they can make themselves visible to anyone nearby using iOS 7, or invisible to all. AirDrop is also available on iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (fifth generation) and requires an iCloud account.