Near Field Communication is an important feature of today’s smartphones, and it is certainly enhances functionality by helping to transfer files and media between phones that are close by wirelessly, without the need of installing pesky software or wires connecting your smartphones. However, to use it well, you need to understand a little bit about how it works and how you can use it in different ways. We walk through most of these things in this article one-by-one.
What is NFC?
The name is a dead give away – it is the technology that helps set up communication and data transfer between phones that are ‘near’ each other’s ‘field’. Communication obviously takes place through short range radio waves.
The technology itself is sold and marketed as a file and data sharing tool, and was introduced with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which also debuted the Google Beam. Together with Google Beam, NFC can be used to exchange files and data rapidly between phones at proximity. Also, NFC can be used to read and write programmable NFC tags on the same device.
How To Check If Your Phone Has NFC
To do this, open the backplate of your phone and look for small prints on the battery or elsewhere. “Near Field Communication” or something similar may be printed somewhere. For example, in Sony Xperia phones, the official “N” mark of NFC is imprinted to indicate the phone is NFC enabled.
If you want to avoid this witch hunt on the hardware, you can check if your phone is NFC enabled by going to the Settings of your phone, then tapping on More and then scroll down to see if there are Android Beam and NFC in the options. Their presence tells you that your phone carries the technology.
Activating NFC On Your Phone
Once you have verified that your phone indeed has NFC, you can activate it by tapping the toggle on the NFC option, which you will find after going into the Setting and More. When you click on to activate the NFC option, the Google Beam will get activated automatically. In case it is not you can tap on the Google Beam option and select Yes to switch it on. Remember, the Beam operates in tandem with the NFC, and if it is not switched on, the transfer of files and media through NFC may be seriously hampered.
Data Sharing Through NFC
For successfully sharing data and files through NFC, you should keep in mind the following points:
-> Both the phones should have NFC and Google Beam enabled, and should be unlocked and not asleep.
-> You will be notified both by audio and haptically when the two devices detect each other.
-> Do not separate devices beaming each other until it has actually started.
-> You will be notified by audio when the files have finished beaming.
Although the type of data that can be shared has been limited to small files, you can beam things like web pages, map locations, and contacts with ease.
The generic way to share content is pretty much the same :
Open the content that has to be beamed and place the device’s back against one another.
Now you have to first wait for both audio and haptic notification so that the devices have detected each other.
After that the sender’s screen will get shrink to a thumbnail and will show you “Touch to beam” at the top. This is cue to touch the sender’s screen, which will start the beaming, indicated by a sound.
When the beaming is complete, an audio notification will appear, and the handler app may launch to open the beamed content.
If you want to share apps through NFC which does not share the app’s APK but it will take the receiver to the App’s page of Google Play Store. Where apps will be downloaded.
Sharing Web Content and Information
Only the URL of the webpage is sent, which is opened on the receiver’s default browser.
Sharing YouTube videos
Sharing the YouTube video does not share the video file but merely directs the receiver’s YouTube app to open the requested video.
The phone which you will get have number of google accounts then the device will let you decide which account you want to add to contact. Otherwise, the details of contact will be automatically saved and displayed by it.
Not all NFC enabled phone can share photos. However, in case photo beaming is successful, the receiver gets a success notification and the photo received is opened in the Gallery.
Using NFC Tags
If you want to exchange data to other phones then you have to also configure your devices settings by clicking against a programmed NFC tag. This tag is an unpowered chip that is usually embedded in posters, movie passes, business cards, medication bottles, stickers, wristbands and a lot more. The microchip stores small amounts of data, that a NFC enabled device can read upon contact. The memory on an NFC tag can differ, and the data can include a URL, contact info and settings that the NFC device can implement.
When you read the data from an NFC tag, or you write into it then you will need particular apps like Trigger, such apps are available on Google play store. If you program a tag using a specific app, you can read the tag on your phone using the same app.
You can use tags for a number of purposes, such as opening web pages, configuring your phone settings or even sending texts when you read the tags. For example, if you have programmed the NFC tag to set your phone to Vibration mode, activate the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, tapping your phone’s back against the NFC tag will do just that.
The Trigger app lets you adjust settings and perform tasks including the following :
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings
Sound and volume settings (sound profile, ringtone, ring/notification volume, notification tone, media volume, system volume, alarm volume, and vibrate when ringing)
Display options (brightness, notification light, auto rotation, display timeout)
Social media (tweeting, checking in via check-in services such as Foursquare, Facebook, Google Latitude, Google Places)
Messages (autosync, sending email, composing SMS, send Glympse)
Apps and shortcuts (open app, close app, open activity, pause, open URL/URI, speak text, navigation, dock, car dock)
Multimedia (start/stop media playback, move to next media, play previous media)
Alarms (set alarm, set timer)
Events (create event, create calendar timestamp)
Security (activate lockscreen)
Make phone call
Samsung-specific modes (blocking mode, driving mode, power saving mode)
Create Tasker tasks