NFC Tags for iOS 13 Shortcuts Automation

I’m interested in purchasing NFC tags for use with Shortcuts.

Can anyone recommend a particular brand or model that they have purchased recently with good success on iOS 13?

Thanks much.


I’m also interested in this. Not to cheap out, but I’d love to know what the most inexpensive ones are! I’d be keen to buy big packs for lower per-tag costs. (They all work the same way, don’t they?)

As an aside, I wonder if the Apple Tags will also be NFC, or if Apple will sell some official third party packs at some point, and what the value of that might be…

This info might be helpful.


In David’s Shortcuts Field Guide (which I talk about here) he has a chapter on NFC shortcuts.

He links to these 3 products:

Fongwah 50pcs NTAG215 NFC Stickers

GoToTags Heavy Duty On-Metal NFC Tag

Keyfob NFC Tags

I haven’t used them myself but I take David’s recommendation strong enough that I’ve ordered the first two. (I don’t really see a use for key fob ones myself and I like a tidy keychain.)

One thing to note is that really cheap ones on Amazon may be blank and iPhones have no way to write to them, so they would be useless. You need a special device to write to them, I believe. (I’m far from an expert.)


You need a third party application for this but it can be done. However as Shortcuts doesn’t need anything on the tag the, being blank is useful - otherwise whatever is on the tag will be promoted as well as your automation running :slight_smile:


No NFC experience myself, but is a good source for things to tinker with.

Oh! Well, that’s good to know. I find the whole thing with NFC very confusing, tbh. I’ve come across a bunch of contradictory information trying to find answers online.

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I bought a 25-pack for $10.99.

You don’t need a writer to use Shortcuts as it will trigger off of “empty” NFC tags.

I’ve only found one app in the store that can write tags. It is called NFC Reader. It’s free but it serves up ads. I’m sure there will be more apps in the near future with iOS 13.



As a follow up, the tags I bought work okay. The range isn’t the best and they are easily disrupted by metal or RF (e.g. a laptop). I worked on NFC technology for a few years so I have experience with good and bad tags and these are okay.

Another app that will write NFC tags is Smart NFC. It was £0.99, has no ads and works brilliantly.

For my iPhone X, I have found that I need to write the command that I want to execute to the tag to get it to work (something along the lines of “shortcuts://run-shortcut?name=Arrive%20at%20Work”). Blank tags may work for newer phones, but I can’t get them to do anything on the X.

Matthew Cassinelli wrote an article for his blog in which he lists some NFC tags he had success with.

To be clear, anything in the Xs/r and 11 range does work with blank tags, it just reads ID and uses that to trigger the Shortcut.


For those in the UK, I’ve had good success with these from Amazon:

10 X NFC Tags | NXP Chip NTAG216 | 888 Bytes Memory | round transparent self-adhesive labels | High Scan Strength with Ultra Slim Design | Strong Glue

I don’t need to write to them as I just need Shortcuts to identify them from their UID. I’d expected to need to tap them/graze them anyway so don’t have issues with the range.

Thanks, @RosemaryOrchard, I thought that must be the case.

Another UK set of suggestions, this time for key fobs:

7 x NFC Tags NXP Ntag215 for £8.99

4 x Tags NTAG216 for £7.75

5 x NFC tags for £7.75

I think my personal preference is in the order listed. I just need to try the stickers now!