While NFC might always be limited to Apple Pay officially, more advanced users have been hoping the technology will be unlocked for other purposes. A popular jailbreak developer has done that, and Jeff Butts thinks it’s great for some and unimportant for most people.
Don’t count on Apple Pay coming to most of Australia any time soon because the ongoing fight between Apple and the banks is only getting worse. Apple is calling Australia’s banks a cartel looking to squeeze more money out of customers, and the banks say Apple is trying to kill competition. Both sides are digging in their heels, and it doesn’t look like they’re interested in finding a compromise.
With iOS 8.2 and earlier, Airplane mode in iOS would turn off all four radios in an iPhone: Bluetooth, Cellular, GPS and Wi-Fi. Starting in iOS 8.3, that changed with GPS. Plus, starting with iPhone 6, NFC is not disabled either.