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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max NFC

Image of Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max NFC. Image : Apple

Does the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max have NFC ?

Yes. This phone normally has NFC functionality.

Can the iPhone 13 Pro Max scan NFC Tags ?

Yes. The iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max and 13 mini are the fourth generation of iPhones to support native NFC tag reading. The earlier generations, the XS/XR, 11 and 12 were the first iPhones to be able to read NFC tags and the iPhone 13 range continues this functionality. This means that the iPhone 13 Pro Max does not need an additional NFC App to be installed or opened to read NFC tags. This has been called 'background tag scanning' and means that a simple tap/scan of an NFC tag will automatically trigger NFC tag reading. NFC cannot be turned off on the iPhone 13 - it's always on.

To find out how to scan tags, read our tutorial on how to read NFC tags with an iPhone 13.

With the older iOS 11, the iPhone 13 Pro Max's reading ability was limited to just the main memory section of the tag which is commonly referred to as the 'NDEF' memory space. For example, the phone could only read the URL/web address stored on an NFC tag. It could not read from other memory locations on the tag such as the tag's UID (unique ID). It also could not interact with the tag to access other features such as reading the tag scan counter.

However, with the release of iOS 13 (and subsequent releases of iOS 14 and iOS 15) Apple changed this and added most of the missing functionality. With iOS 15, the iPhone 13 Pro Max can read the UID of the tags and interact using more advanced methods. Essentially, the functionality is now the same with the latest iOS versions on the iPhone 13 Pro Max as it is with Android phones.

Note that the additional functionality added with iOS 15 also applies to previous generations of the iPhone. However, unlike the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 7, 8 and X don't have background tag scanning and still require an App to scan NFC tags. Seritag understand that this requirement is not likely to change and 'native' tag scanning will only be available on the XR/XS, 11, 12, 13 and future generations of the iPhone.

Note that your NFC tags need to be encoded with data, such as a web address (URL), before they will scan. The iPhone will not normally respond to tags without encoding.

Not sure what an NFC tag is ? Read our article on What is an NFC Tag.

Can the iPhone 13 Pro Max write and encode NFC tags ?

Yes, providing the latest iOS 15 (or iOS 13/14) is installed.

With iOS 15, Apple have included the functionality required to both write and lock NFC tags. Prior to iOS 13, iPhones could only read NFC tags.

Seritag have put together a quick step by step tutorial on encoding NFC tags with an iPhone. You can also watch our 90 second encoding NFC tags with an iPhone 13 tutorial on youtube.

Which NFC tags can be used with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max ?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max can read all standard NFC chips including the popular NXP NTAG and ST ST25TN (TN01K, TN512) series tags. As with Android, Seritag recommended avoiding the larger memory NTAG216 chips.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a relatively small and focused NFC antenna. As a result, many users have commented that scan performance with some of the smaller NFC tags is not great. Conversely, the use of very large tags (credit card size for example) can result in very poor or failed performance. Seritag recommend the use of standard 20-40mm tags for the most reliable and consistent performance. However, also bear in mind positioning of the tags. Avoid placing too much material and distance between the tag and the user. Try and ensure that the hotspot is clearly indicated so the user can position the iPhone 13 Pro Max correctly to read the tag.

Where is the NFC antenna on the iPhone 13 Pro Max ?

The NFC antenna on the iPhone 13 Pro Max is located on the top edge.

image showing location of NFC hotspot on an iphone 13
iPhone iPhone 13 Pro Max NFC Hotspot

How do I turn on NFC on the iPhone 13 Pro Max ?

NFC is always enabled on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and cannot be turned off. There isn't an on/off setting.

NFC Tags For The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

The table below illustrates the available NFC tags and their compatibility with your phone. As phone specifications can change without notice and also vary from region to region, we strongly advise testing tags before any purchase.

Manufacturer NFC Chip Compatible
NXPNTAG216 (Not Recommended)Yes
NXPMIFARE Ultralight® EV1Yes
STST25TN01K (TN01K)Yes
STST25TN512 (TN512)Yes

Note for iPhone users: The ICODE SLIX and ICODE SLIX2 tags need to have already been encoded (have NDEF data) before some iPhone Apps will be able to encode them. We suggest using the NFC Tools app with these chips for encoding or ask Seritag to encode something onto the tags without locking.

How much memory do I need ?

Depending on what information you need to store on your NFC tags, you will have different memory requirements. NFC Tags have a very limited memory so getting a tag that will store everything you need is important. Seritag have put together some information on how much memory you will need in your NFC Tag.

NFC & QR Code Management
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