iOS Jailbreak news: Developer hacks allow jailbroken iPhones to communicate with NFC devices

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A customer holds an iPhone 6s
A customer holds an iPhone 6s during the official launch at the Apple store in central Sydney, Australia, September 25, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

With most still wondering whether an iOS jailbreak will come out, others continue to find ways to put older iOS jailbreak versions to good use. Jailbreak developer Elias Limneos is one of them, and his efforts recently include putting Near Field Communication (NFC) to work. 

Limneos demonstrated everything on video using a jailbroken iPhone 6s interacting with an NFC-enabled tag. He explained that he was able to do the trick with a small hack on the nfcd daemon, 9 to 5 Mac reports.

The same should work with other jailbroken devices that are NFC-enabled. With the breakthrough, the jailbreak developer is exploring other options, which include reading or writing data.

If successful, the efforts could open up lots of possibilities. That would include the ability of iPhone owners to open RFID doors or other solutions that rely on the technology. If not via entry points, other uses could include the transfer of data or even pay transactions.

For the record, Apple did implement NFC into the iPhone 6 as a means to facilitate Apple pay transactions. There is no official word yet if the Cupertino company has been notified of Limneos discovery. The same holds true on whether they have future plans to open up access to developers. 

The chances of seeing Apple open up access to developers remains to be seen, though it is likely that they will keep it as a primary method for Apple Pay. Knowing the things tied up to the sensitive feature, it may take some time before Apple explores further use of the NFC feature. 

Speed is another issue raised, something to do with the sensing of NFC-enabled devices within an area. The iPhone may need time to properly decipher the device it discovers, causing some lag that could corrupt transactions. 

The breakthrough of Limneos may not be much but a hack that some could find handy. It does have some positives tied behind it, but associating it with Apple Pay transactions may carry lots of risks. The jailbreak developer plans to share his work as an NFC-enabler tweak instead of an app. It should crop up soon at the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhone users soon.