Apple now supports reading NFC tags – a developer page for Core NFC notes that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can read tags (bog standard tags and you can buy for a dime). However, there’s no mention of writing to tags and more importantly, no device-to-device communication.
The NFC functionality is going to be open to third-party apps, once the phone is updated to iOS 11 (to be launched in the fall). Here’s an example use case that the dev page mentions:
For example, your app might give users information about products they find in a store or exhibits they visit in a museum.
Will Apple support make the humble NFC tag “cool”? Will the Apple Watch support it? (well, it supports Pay, which is NFC based so…) And will AirDrop gain Android Beam-like functionality, allowing you to share files and more by tapping devices together? (something Apple has mocked in the past)