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Apple Expands NFC Capabilities with iOS 13

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Apple will make NFC much more useful in iPhones running iOS 13, and these enhancements will impact retail, medical, government and security industries.

Apple already uses NFC to support Apple Pay and the Apple Pay Express Transit system which is rolling out at this time. While it has incrementally extended the tasks NFC supports over the years, the company has limited its NFC support to the NDEF standard until now but extends this with support for new standards in its Core NFC Framework in iOS 13.

In addition, iOS apps will be able to write to NFC tags and place a lock so it can’t be written to again if needed. The core NFC framework will also support tag-reading and writing beyond the NFC NDEF Tag to include Mifare, FeliCa, ISO 7816 and ISO 15693.

Support for these standards is significant. It means that rather than simply being able to read NFC tags, developers will be given the tools they need in order to create apps that can also write to and local blank tags.

These changes also mean iPhones will offer better support for the transit, passport and access cards/systems that are already widely used worldwide. In fact, the Japanese government is planning to add support for NFC tag-reading to the country’s national ID (the Individual Number Card), while the U.K.’s NFC passport-reader app will work on the iPhone after the updates.

“This announcement means that ReadID will also work on iPhones, using the embedded internal NFC capability,” the company said in a blog post.

“Needless to say we are very excited about this,” the announcement continued. “We’re convinced this will have a major impact on the online use cases such as mobile onboarding for banks, especially for countries with a high iPhone penetration.”

iOS 13 is expected to be released in mid-September alongside the lineup of this year’s iPhone models.

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TikTok owner ByteDance plans to launch music streaming

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(Reuters) – TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co Ltd is in talks with big music labels – Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music – for global licensing deals to include their songs on its new music subscription service, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

ByteDance is looking to launch its music streaming as soon as next month, initially in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, before a future opening in the United States, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

In addition to on-demand music, ByteDance’s app will include a library of short video clips for listeners to search through and synch to songs as they listen, the report added.

ByteDance has not given a name to its music app yet and pricing remains unclear, although it is expected to cost less than the $10 a month charged by Spotify Technology SA, Apple Inc and others in the United States, according to the report.

The company was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Anurag Maan in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Apple announces press event on Dec. 2

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Apple will host an event on Dec. 2

Apple just announced a press event that it will hold at 4 p.m. ET on Dec. 2 in New York City. The event will be focused on “honoring our favorite apps and games of 2019.” A tagline on the invite says “Loved by millions. Created by the best.”

Apple typically issues a press release detailing its favorite apps and games of the year annually, but this time there may be some sort of awards ceremony instead of just a release. New products are not expected at the event.

Reports had suggested Apple was planning to hold some sort of press conference in October, although the company ultimately announced and released products instead of holding a splashy event. Recent announcements included the new 16-inch MacBook Pro and new AirPods Pro with noise cancellation.

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Samsung’s Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus

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With the impending December 20th release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looming like a nearby Death Star, Samsung has announced a Star Wars-themed Galaxy Note 10 Plus that’s giving off some major Kylo Ren energy. It will be on sale in the US on December 13th for $1,299.99.

The phone looks really slick. I love the red lightsaber-style S Pen. It’s a black Note 10 Plus with a First Order emblem on the back and red trim on the buttons and around the camera. In the Kylo Ren-themed box, you’ll also get black Galaxy Buds with a red inner casing, a Ren-themed leather phone case, and a Ren-themed “metal badge.”


Samsung says the phone will come with exclusive Star Wars-themed wallpapers, shutdown animations, icons, and sounds.

With a price tag of $1,299.99, it’s a little more expensive than a base Galaxy Note 10 Plus — which you can buy on Samsung’s website at a sale price of $839.99 — but the extra Star Wars-themed goodies might make the extra cost worth it.

Samsung says bundle will be available in Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and the US. In select markets, it will be available starting on December 10th, which is a bit sooner than the US release date.

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