As the debate over whether Apple will put an NFC chip inside iPhone 5 continues, a new report hints at interesting possible uses that go beyond contactless payments. Specifically, an iPhone 5 with this chip could double as a portable login system allowing you to run your purchased Mac App Store applications on a guest Mac system as well as access, edit and save your documents remotely via the MobileMe cloud, an unnamed insider told Leander Kahney in an exclusive Cult of Mac story:
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.
There’s a high likelihood that something like this could be in the works at some point in the future knowing Apple had originally been mulling a similar feature for Mac OS X Panther. It was to be called Home on iPod and designed to let you store contents of your home directory on an iPod. Apple had even been advertising the feature on its homepage until they abruptly canceled it last minute without explanation.