One of the greatest benefits to any of the new round of Android devices is built-in NFC (near field communication) support. This feature allows these devices to transfer data with specially programmed “tags” that have any number of secure data embedded in them.
With this capability shipping with the most popular Android devices, the apps being created to take advantage of this new technology are increasing. Here are the seven most creative applications of NFC technology for Android.
Samsung has been one of the leaders of pushing NFC technologies in its devices and with the release of TecTiles, people can use their NFC-capable Samsung devices and programmable NFC tags to change settings, share contacts, make a call, tweet a status, update Linkedin, check in to Foursquare and more.
The idea is simple and powerful. These programmable NFC tags can be stuck to your business card, business poster, check-in location and more, and can be made to do any number of actions on a user’s phone via the TecTiles app. Once the user taps a phone to a tag, the app takes over and launches a website, checks the user in or any other action that was programmed.
2. NFC Task Launcher
While TecTiles is a pretty great app, it only works with Samsung devices. If you want the ability to launch tasks on other Android devices that support NFC, then NFC Task Launcher is the next best thing.
With NFC Task Launcher you can create new task tags, switch tags (toggle things on and off), vCard tags for contact sharing, smart URL tags, text and URI tags (for emailing, SMS or phone calls).
3. Octopus Balance Reader
Octopus cards, the rechargeable, NFC-powered smart card that can hold up to HK$1,000 are a great way to store money and pay for things (as long as you are in Hong Kong). With the free Android app, Octopus Balance Reader, users can tap their NFC-powered Android phone to their Octopus card, and quickly and easily retrieve the card’s balance.
What’s even more interesting is that the Android phone can retrieve the balance of the card even when it doesn’t have a network connection (like when you’re underground).
4. Metro 24
If you are a world traveler and in need of public transportation maps, Metro 24 is one of the best apps on Android to support you. The app is full of useful features for traveling and with the addition of NFC support for the metro in Moscow, travelers can take advantage of built-in NFC to read tickets.
5. Timesheet NFC Add-On
Timesheet for Android is a “simple project-based time tracking” app that allows you to track time of a project or task, add breaks, create notes for a task and even export all of your time data to Excel or XML format.
Timesheet is cool and everything, but with its new NFC add-on, Timesheet users can easily start and stop project time by using an NFC tag. This is a unique way to enable yourself or employees to clock in and out at certain times and places.
Some of the best uses of NFC include taking advantage of your current physical location to do specific tasks on your device. What if you could pull up your work’s daily task list by touching an NFC tag at work, or a list of your errands by touching your car’s dashboard?
With Evernote and Touchanote, users can assign and simply open any linked Evernote note by touching a programmed NFC tag wherever they are.
7. File Expert
File Expert may be one of the most popular apps for managing and sharing files on your Android device, and with a new NFC capabilities, users can now tap their phones and instantly transfer files.