There were several rumors regarding the possibility of Apple’s next smartphone featuring NFC technology in the months leading up to Apple’s iPhone announcement in the fall. Many competitors in the market have had the wireless payment technology for some years but it really only started to gain some traction recently. As you can all tell, the rumors were ended up being false, since there isn’t any kind of NFC chipset in the iPhone 4S.
This doesn’t mean that Apple is completely looking over the technology though. The company was recently awarded a patent regarding Near Field Communications in mobile devices. According to the folks over at Patently Apple, Apple recently won its first NFC patent related to retail transactions. Their patent document explains a method of establishing a master/slave relationship amongst two smartphones, both of which use NFC. The whole procedure described in the patent sounds very similar to many of the rumors that were flying previously.
The patent seems to specifically narrow in on the technology being used in retail situations. What this means is that Apple may be amidst an NFC-based mobile payment system. It is quite possible but nothing is certain as of yet. Patent details can be found below (courtesy of Patently Apple):
Apple also recently updated its retail experience by opening up the option of utilizing Apple’s EasyPay application. The updated version of this application allows users to scan products that they plan to buy at Apple stores allowing you to read reviews and check prices, than ultimately give you the option to pay via credit card (allowing you to skip the long lines). The EasyPay application might be the foundation of something much bigger that Apple plans to venture in.
Would you like to see Apple using NFC technology in the next iteration of the iPhone? Share your thoughts below!
Source: Patently Apple
Apple has been awarded a patent that directly points to third-party widgets to be built in iOS 5′s new Notification Center.
For those of you who are keeping up with the jailbreak community news, this isn’t much of a surprise at all. Many develpers have already released proof-of-concept widgets on current jailbroken iOS 5 devices. Among the widgets are UISettings, SPringPrefs, and Music Center, which have all been created in the short time since the iOS 5 betas became available. The new information makes it pretty clear that Apple will most likely allow these widgets into the App Store (perhaps even in its own section).
The patent indicates that allowing such widgets could be as Apple enabling certain public APIs, including the “Widget Creator Module,” which we assume does exactly what it says it does – help the developers create widgets.As the beta builds of iOS 5 increase, we will be keeping our eye out for any changes that allow extra widgets without the need for a jailbreak. It is nice to know Apple is finally allowing some customization and uniqueness to their operating system, even if it is with the start of third party widgets.