Apple faithful and technology enthusiasts alike wondered when the longtime near field communication (NFC) holdout would finally embrace the budding mobile technology. Everyone got their answer a week ago when it was revealed that the two new iPhones as well as the looming Apple Watch would arrive with such capabilities baked in.

For years, analysts and critics have argued that NFC wouldn't go mainstream until Apple jumped onboard. And while it's still too early to know whether or not those predictions were accurate, we now know that Apple - at least, initially - will restrict access to its NFC chip to Apple Pay.

The move isn't entirely surprising as Apple did the same thing with its Touch ID a year ago. After a year of exclusive use, perhaps to gauge user interest or work on some behind-the-scenes bugs, Apple opened Touch ID up to third-party developers in iOS 8. Soon, we'll be seeing apps from companies like PayPal and 1Password take advantage of Apple's fingerprint scanning technology.

That said, it's probably only a matter of time before Apple decides to open NFC up to third-party developers to tinker with. We know that Apple's upcoming wearable will allow users to unlock their hotel room doors with a simple swipe which means third-party support is coming - perhaps sooner than it arrived for Touch ID.

Aside from mobile payments, what are some of your favorite uses for NFC? Let us know in the comments section below.