What brand of NFC tags work on iOS 13.1 + iPhone 10s?

With all this buzz online about triggering shortcuts via NFC tags, I was pretty excited to get started. I ordered these ones, which sadly are just producing an “extension communication timeout” error when I attempt to write to activate the tag after writing to it from within the Shortcuts app and linking it to a shortcut.

I know that people are doing this, though, and I’m pretty sure on the same hardware and iOS dot version. So is this just a matter of buying the right tags?

I’d love to compile a list of tags that people have been able to get to work on iOS 13.1. If you have bought tags that you found successful, would you please add a link in a reply below?

(Alternately, if you know of a fix for the above error, I’d love to hear it.)

I believe the error is a generic error rather than specific to your NFC tags (it was also posted about in the Bear subreddit). I’m personally not running into this, but I’m also running the latest beta on an iPhone 11 Pro.

I’m getting them no matter what kind of shortcut I create, which led me to believe that it’s either specific to the brand of tag or iOS 13.1, rather than a general error. I’ve seen many reports of this error on Reddit and elsewhere (e.g. 1 2 3).

I also noticed that some people do not seem to be getting them at all, which leads me to believe that maybe there are some tags work better than others?

I think that is unlikely. As long as it is a functioning NFC tag of type 1 through 5, the device should be able to read it.

Unlikely isn’t impossible though, so if you can find another NFC tag to test with, it could be worthwhile. In the UK, we sometimes get them on electrical goods (as quick connection/reference), and even at bus stops (links to live bus schedules). Hopefully it would be easy for you to find such a test tag.

Yes, that’s why I’m looking for recommendations for a specific brand/type that is proven with the other factors of hardware and ios version. I could randomly select from a highly rated amazon product like I did last time, but it would be another shot in the dark.

I hope you’re right, though and there is an easy solution. Otherwise, I now have a large bag of tags that are useless to me.

This article from Matthew Cassinelli lists the NFC tags he has had success with, available from Amazon.

Matthew Cassinelli’s article on NFC tags


Thanks for that. I ended up buying these ones Casinelli recommends, which, sadly, also produced the error for me. I sure hope this gets fixed soon in an iOS release. I’m really looking forward to building NFC-triggered shortcuts around the house.

Stretch objective: One small enough to fit on an Apple Watch band and is waterproof.

Subtlety of design a plus. :slight_smile:

Ha! The NFC stickers most recently acquired are actually the right size but I have no idea if they’re waterproof. Curious why you would want an NFC sticker on your Apple Watch, though?

Because, apart from IFTTT on the watch, there’s no automation launch point. With NFC on the strap I can kick off something with no confirmation.

  • I tend to have my phone in my pocket and my watch on my wrist.
  • IFTTT has some latency and requires confirmation. (This is not the fault of Pushcut, as @sliemeobn would confirm.)

As for waterproof, we shall see. I would think the adhesive would be the weak link in this one.

In practice

  • There is indeed room on the strap of my Gen 3 42mm watch.
  • The automation works well.
  • I’m finding NFC in my XS Max unreliable, on 3.1.2 and then 3.1.3. This was true of Launch Center Pro and also Shortcuts, so I think it to be an issue with iOS, not LCP.

If NFC were reliable then it’d be really nice and practical.

For a fun alternative — Hot Wheels ID Cars work! :wink:

I have one on the shelf that I use to open the GMC app and start my truck on cold mornings.

And I have a couple of these Delorian Time Machines on pre-order to do some time tracking short cuts:
Back to the Future Time Machine – Hot Wheels ID Car

[EDIT: I’m on iPhone 11 Pro, though… so can’t confirm on Xs]

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So, when I got my new Watch (5 44mm) I didn’t put an NFC sticker on the strap. I couldn’t find a small enough one to sit elegantly and it was beginning to peel off the old (3 42mm) watch’s strap.