RUMOR: Apple’s iPhone, NFC and Mac App Store to enable remote computing

“We have a few more details about Apple’s remote computing plans that revolve around [Near Field Communications or NFC] technology,” Leander Kahney writes for Cult of Mac.

“As we previously reported, Apple is working on a system that allows users to log into another computer using an NFC-equipped iPhone,” Kahney writes. “The iPhone pairs with the host machine, and loads the user’s files and settings over the net. It’s as though the user is sitting at their own machine at home.”

Kahney writes, “According to our source, who asked not to be named, when a NFC-equipped iPhone is paired with a guest machine, part of the user’s profile includes the apps they’ve purchased through the Mac App Store. The icons for their apps appear on the remote Mac, but aren’t downloaded, our source said. But if the user opens an app, it is downloaded temporarily to the computer for use. When the NFC connection is broken, the apps are deleted and the computer returns to its previous state.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. Let me Apple-fy (taking the tech idea 5 years into the future, where Apple’s R&D lives). Combine NFC with placing your whole hard drive on an internet server (i.e., Apple in NC). By doing so, you can walk up to ANY computer/terminal in the world and it will spring to life, appearing and functioning exactly as you have it at home. All computer’s will have an instant “Guest” user account that acts more like a huge alias of your own computer. The terminal will detect your NFC iPhone and spring to life as if your computer is following you around. Think of it similar to Geordie on ST:TNG saying to the ship’s computer, “Transfer all engineering functions to this terminal” on the bridge. (Please, don’t ramble on about the security issues because it would be very easy to create and very simple way to identify the user.) There is no new technology involved with this; merely combining what already exists to make life easier. This can be done now, but a NFC iPhone will make it much easier and quicker to pre-launch the nearest computer.

    1. Agreed, but I don’t think my data is going to live on Apple’s servers. There’s just too much of it. That might be where it’s cached, but I think it’s going to be a live link back to your machine for data just like they said it will be for apps.

      1. The difference is that you can password protect and encrypt the information (and remote wipe) on your iPhone, while your wallet is free of any protection if it is lost or stolen.

        People moaning about the “security” issues around this are fools. It will be much, much more secure to have your information on a locked/encrypted device than it is to be carrying physical credit cards and identification (with all the information a thief needs right there on the cards.)

        1. I guess I was thinking that I’m quite happy to have my keys, my credit card and my phone be separate entities. Imagine the phone gets lost or damaged and not being able to get into your house or car. Hmm. Still would need redundant systems, yeah?
          I’m 56 and have never lost my keys or wallet and for the last 3+ years my iphone. But my phone has been damaged.

          I do like the added security of having cc transactions on the iphone though.

          1. I’m not worried about losing my phone any more than my keys, but this won’t work for everything just yet. When I go to a bar am I going to hand them my phone to open a tab? Maybe they’ll scan it first… who knows.

  2. So, this is the remote Home Folder concept that people have been dreaming about since the iPod came out, using the Cloud as opposed to carrying the files around with you in an iOS device.

    1. Cloud is nice for goofy stuff like family photos/videos, simple documents in Pages etc.–but for real graphics work (which btw is the industry that stood by them through the darkest of days in the 90s) it won’t do. I’ve got a workstation with 4 TB RAID here and it will stay that way as long as I can keep it going. I fear Apple will soon abandon the tower and only offer Minis, iMacs and MacBooks. They’ve already pronounced a death sentence on my two Xserves. They are no longer Apple Computer. . . remember?

      Oh yeah that’s right we’re supposed to run OSX Server on towers now. Brilliant. Methinks with Thunderbolt I’d be better off slinging together a couple Minis running OSX server. Just a thought.

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