This iOS 12 feature could get you home, even when your iPhone battery dies

Apple iOS 12 has a new NFC-based feature that’ll allow certain digital card transactions to take place, even if the iPhone is out of battery.

In the newly-published official security guide to iOS 12, Apple explains the new ‘Express Card with power reserve’ feature, which ensures just enough battery power is held back for digital transit cards and student ID cards to be functional when the phone has shut itself down.

This will help to ensure iPhone users can get home on trains using their transit card, or gain access to their collect campus via the student ID card, for around five hours after the phone powers down.

The functionality is available on the new iPhone XS, XS Max and XR phones and also in play on select older iPhone models, Apple Insider points out.

“If iOS isn’t running because iPhone needs to be charged, there may still be enough power in the battery to support Express Card transactions. Supported iPhone devices automatically support this feature with a transit card designated as the Express Transit card [and] student ID cards with Express Mode turned on,” the page says.

“The NFC controller performs express card transactions under the same conditions as when iOS is running, except that transactions are indicated with only haptic notification,” the paper continues.

Apple Insider says the feature is unavailable following a standard hardware shutdown because the power reserve functionally is only available as part of the low-power mode features.

Unfortunately, support for the feature isn’t very wide at all. The student ID cards feature is available in the United States, while the transit cards feature only works in China and Japan.┬áThat doesn’t mean there won’t be greater adoption farther down the line through.

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