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Does my iPhone read and write to NFC tags?

All the ifs, whens, and buts about the iPhone and NFC can be a bit confusing. This should clear things up.

First of all, at the time of writing, there are no iPhones that can write to NFC tags. Also, iPhones can only read tags with messages composed as NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format).

HTML Editor - Full Version
iPhone Model iPhone XR, XS, XS Max iPhone 7, 8, X iPhone 6 and older
OS iOS12 iOS11 or iOS 12 (doesn't matter)
Reads NFC Tags? YES YES NO

NDEF Record Type

  • URI (see below)

No app needed

(a.k.a. Background reading)

App required

  • Text Records
  • Contact Info (vCard)
  • Bluetooth, WiFi Pairing
  • Access to Geolocation
App required App required

Below are the URI messages that can be read .

URL Scheme

Example

Website URL (HTTP/HTTPS)

https://www.example.com

Email

mailto:user@example.com

SMS

sms:+14085551212

Telephone

tel:+14085551212

FaceTime

facetime://user@example.com

FaceTime Audio

facetime-audio://user@example.com

Maps

http://maps.apple.com/?address=Apple%20Park,Cupertino,California

HomeKit Accessory Setup

X-HM://12345

For more information, please refer to the CoreNFC documentation by Apple.