Writing NFC Tags on iOS

Apple now supports writing NFC tags on select iPhones with iOS 13 and newer!

The ability to write to NFC tags on iOS means that most iPhone users can now encode/program NFC tags to trigger a preset action when that tag is read. Learn more about reading NFC tags on iPhones / iOS.

Writing NFC tags with iOS requires three things:

  1. A supported iPhone model:
    • iPhone 7 / 8 / X / XS / XR / 11 / 11 Pro
  2. iOS 13 or newer
  3. A third-party NFC writer app:

How to Write NFC Tags with iPhone / iOS

If you have an iPhone 7 or newer (see all supported models above) running iOS 13 or newer, you’ll need to download a third-party NFC writing app from the App Store to write NFC tags on iOS.

Once you have these requirements squared away, you’ll need blank or unlocked NDEF-formatted NFC tags to write to.

Buy NFC Tags Online

When ready, follow the tag writing steps as outlined in the third-party app of your choosing.

Note: The Shortcuts app will not actually write data to an NFC tag; instead, it reads the tag’s UID and then stores the programmed action locally on your device.

NFC Tag Writing Requirements for iOS

The following requirements must be met for an encoded NFC tag to be read by an iOS device via Background Tag Reading:

NDEF Encoding

As stated above, only NDEF encoded tags with Universal Links or supported URL Scheme uniform resource identifiers will be read by iOS devices that support Background Tag Reading.

A Universal Link is a concept of deep linking that allows for a link to be opened within a specific app when it is applicable. Universal Links are a supported link type within the context of NFC tags. If there are no associated apps installed, the link will open within Safari.

URL Schemes

Only the URL schemes listed below will be supported by background tag reading.

URL SchemeExample
Website URL (http / https)https://www.example.com
FaceTime Audiofacetime-audio://user@example.com
Apple Mapshttp://maps.apple.com/?address=Spokane,WA
HomeKit Accessory SetupX-HM://12345
Updated on October 11, 2019

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