Historically, NFC debuted as an Android-based technology, and since then, its adoption by iOS has been a slow process. Tagstand has been keeping close watch on this transition. A couple of years ago, we introduced Simply NFC as one of the companies that is at the forefront of NFC development for iPhone users. Recently, we checked back in with their founder, Mr. David Berroa, to see what interesting projects they have been working on to help level the playing field for Apple users in the world of NFC.
In the time since we last touched base, how has NFC (particularly in regard to Apple/iOS) changed/developed/grown? Why do you think this is? What need/potential exists with NFC now, that maybe wasn’t there before?
My views on the landscape of NFC [for iOS] have changed positively. Now that Apple has allowed NFC reading, background NFC reading, and NFC writing, iPhones are able to participate in the NFC world the same as Android. Background NFC scanning now works on URL tags, which I feel is currently the number 1 use case for NFC out in the real world; as users are instantly directed to whatever website one wishes them to see. Before, since iOS did not support NFC reading, an NFC campaign was not advised as only Android users would be able to scan and access the content you were trying to deliver. Businesses would frequently tell me they did not want to move forward just yet with purchasing and using NFC tags, as most of their clients are iPhone users and would not be able to read them. But now that both phone types are capable of scanning NFC tags, more and more businesses are adopting NFC for marketing and products. I feel this brings huge potential as companies feel safer experimenting with NFC products; knowing that their consumers are fully able to access and utilize them.
How has Simply NFC been working to accentuate/bolster the changes/capabilities of NFC mentioned above? What has your primary focus/goal been? How does Simply NFC continue to differentiate itself from other NFC apps out there; in regard to making things better for the user?
Simply NFC worked quickly to incorporate all of Apple’s changes to NFC that came along with the recent version 2 update available to iOS 13 users. Simply NFC now makes it easy for anyone to read tags through the app, supports HomeKit-enabled background tag scanning, allows iPhone users to write and lock NFC tags, and creates hooks for developers to integrate their own web services with a tag scanned via Simply NFC. Our focus and goal has always been to make the process of reading and writing NFC on iPhones as simple and straightforward as possible, while still providing all the functionality one might need. One of the biggest ways Simply NFC differentiates itself from other NFC apps, is in the area of accessibility support. I’ve received many emails thanking me for making NFC easy for everyone. Our app is fully voice-over accessible, allowing hard-of-seeing users to operate NFC tags. We are also working toward introducing a voice-over tag later this month. Anyone can label products around their house with this tag, and when the tag gets scanned, the iPhone will read the label out loud, helping the user identify what they are holding. In addition, we provide several different write profiles to guide our users step-by-step toward creating the tag with the information they want. For example, to make an e-mail tag, our write process will show the user how to modify the e-mail address, subject, and message of the email. Our primary aim is to help make NFC accessible to all, and for everyone to be able to use it as “Simply” as possible.
To find the Simply NFC app, click here