Near Field Communications or NFC is an emerging technology that allows simplified data exchange and transactions between two devices in proximity. It’s also the core technology behind Google’s ambitious Google Wallet project. Though NFC is not mainstream yet, Google has already future-proofed its flagship devices, the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, by including the feature in them. If you happen to possess a Nexus S or any other NFC-enabled Android phone, right now, there’s not a lot you can do with it. But as the technology is getting popular, new apps have come out letting you do a lot of cool things with NFC. Here are 3 of the best apps you can download right now to make the most out of your NFC-enabled Droid.
Touchanote : Touchanote is an innovative new app that connects the capture and organization capabilities of Evernote with the convenience of NFC tags. The app is pretty easy to use as all you have to do is download it and start using Evernote as you normally would. The app will then let you write any Evernote note to an NFC tag by simply clicking on the Share button and selecting Touchanote from the options. This works especially well when you want to remember certain things; for example, you can stick an NFC tag to your new gadgets like TVs, upload their manuals to Evernote, and then write them to the tag. This will then help you find the information you need by simply touching your phone to the tag. Other ways to use this feature is by writing a note containing your WiFi password/passphrase to an NFC tag. Once you’re done, just stick the tag to the back of the router. Every time you forget your passphrase/password, simply touch the tag with the phone to save yourself from a lot of trouble. Of course, since the note is tied to your Evernote account, only you would be able to read it from your phone.
Another great thing about Touchanote is that it allows its users to buy NFC stickers right from the app. The tags are reasonably priced, with one sticker costing 3 $ and a set of 10 costing 10 $. About a couple of months ago, when I first downloaded the app, they were giving away a complimentary NFC sticker which was shipped to me fairly quick. I’m not sure if they’re still doing it; so, you’ll have to download the app and check for yourself. Overall, a great and simple app that makes NFC technology actually useful in the Nexus S. Also, even if you don’t use the service, it is still one of the cheapest yet safest ways to get NFC stickers instead of buying them from some random bloke on eBay.
Price : Free
Download : Touchanote
Website : Touchanote
NFC Quick Actions : NFC Quick Actions is a free app that lets you program an NFC tag to do things like sending an email, opening an URL, or checking in with foursquare. These ‘quick actions’ can then be triggered by simply touching the phone to the tag. The app is very useful in cases where you need to set some important email/SMS you want to send, as a task. Just compose the draft and feed it into the tag. Now, whenever you need to send the message, just tap the tag with your phone and the message gets sent. The application comes with a few more of such interesting ‘Quick Actions’ which leverage NFC technology to do certain basic tasks like turning on the phone’s torch light, opening an URL, checking in to foursquare, opening an Android market link and more. Overall, a nice free application that lets you some great things with NFC .
Price : Free
Download : Quick Actions
NFC Tag Writer: If you want to configure your tags any way you want, this app is just for you. NFC Tag Writer lets you store contacts, SMSes, URLs to any NFC-enabled tag. You can then access that information by simply tapping the phone to the sticker. Unlike the two aforementioned apps, NFC Tag Writer gives you much more control over what you do with NFC tags. You can view a tag, create a new one, erase, and even protect a tag from being written in the future. From the app’s main screen, you can easily browse through your history of previously created tags, which you can reuse to create new ones. The application fully supports the NFC Forum Type 1 Tag, Type 2 Tag, Type 3 Tag as well as Type 4 Tag portfolio. This includes a whole range of NXP and third party NFC-enabled contactless IC products like MIFARE Ultralight, MIFARE Classic, MIFARE DESFire and many others. Summing up, NFC Tag Writer is a perfect app that gives users all the choices and features that they need to play around with this great technology.
Download : NFC Tag Writer
Image Credits: akaalias from Flickr via CC