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[Other] What is NFC and Why you should Use it

2019-06-18 00:50:24
2174 73

NFC is something you may hear mentioned with regard to smartphones, but do you know what NFC stands for or what it NFC means for your phone in particular? In this article, we explain what NFC means and what you can do with NFC in your Android phone, your smartwatch and with NFC tags.

What Is NFC

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication” and, as the name implies, it enables short range communication between compatible devices. This requires at least one transmitting device, and another to receive the signal. A range of devices can use the NFC standard and will be considered either passive or active.

Passive NFC devices include tags, and other small transmitters, that can send information to other NFC devices without the need for a power source of their own. However, they don’t really process any information sent from other sources, and can’t connect to other passive components.  These often take the form of interactive signs on walls or advertisements.

Active devices are able to both send and receive data, and can communicate with each other as well as with passive devices. Smartphones are by far the most common form of active NFC device. Public transport card readers and touch payment terminals are also good examples of the technology.

How does NFC work on Android?

NFC transmits or receives data via radio waves. It's an established standard of wireless communication, so if devices stick to the NFC protocols they'll be able to communicate with each other. It differs from Bluetooth in that it functions through electromagnetic induction. This means there can be a passive device, such as a poster or sticker, requiring no power source of its own that can transmit data when an active device, like your smartphone, comes into contact with it.

As an active NFC device, a smartphone can send and receive data over NFC. It encompasses the full range - three modes - of NFC:

Reader/writer ( e.g for reading tags in NFC poster )

● Card emulation ( e.g for making payments )

● peer-to-peer ( e.g for transfer files )

Some Problems with NFC on Android

Not all Android devices carry an NFC chip, but they are becoming more and more common.

●  NFC chips are not all located in the same place, resulting in some exploratory rubbing between devices.

● Cross-Compartibilty between devices is not universal, specially when it comes to specific files type.

What I Can Use NFC For?
1-) Send a phone number

NFC is the simplest way to give a person your digits because you don’t actually have to type any digits.   

Just navigate to a contact in your address book (it can be yours or somebody else's), then press your phone to the recipient's. When your phone says “touch to beam”, just tap the display.

2-) Send a Picture

Snapchat isn’t the only way to quickly send somebody a lewd picture - you can also use NFC. Open the picture you wish to send in your preferred image viewer, then bring the phones together.

3-)  Send a document

This can be a slightly tricky process. For example, if you try to send a PDF document you are reading, it will more than likely beam the PDF viewing app rather than the PDF file itself.
In these cases, you have to use Android Beam. Navigate to the file you want to share, tap the three tops (hamburger) icon, tap Share, then select Android Beam. You are now clear to bring the devices together.

4-) Direct someone to your new favorite app

Yes, with NFC you can direct fellow Android fans straight to the Play Store to pick up your favorite apps or games. As long as you are using the app or game at the time, NFC will direct the recipient to the app's Google Play page.

5-) Send directions

There are many occasions when you are required to explain directions to somebody, but with NFC you don't have to. Use Google Maps to create some directions, then slap your phone against another.

Using NFC Tags

Apart from sharing content with other NFC-capable devices, you can also use NFC to configure your phone’s or tablet’s settings with just a tap. You can do this by tapping an NFC-capable device against a programmed NFC tag.

An NFC tag is an unpowered NFC chip, small enough to be embedded in items such as posters, movie passes, business cards, medication bottles, stickers, wristbands, key fobs, pens, hang tags, and more. The microchip can store small chunks of data, which can be read by an NFC-capable device. Different NFC tags have different memory capacities.

You can program an NFC tag to perform tasks such as open a web page, configure phone settings, or even send text just by tapping the device against the tag. So, for instance, you may want to program an NFC tag for use when you reach the office, where you’d need your phone set to vibration mode, Wi-Fi set to on, and Bluetooth inactive. Just tap your device’s back against the programmed tag, and the device will perform the tasks programmed onto the tag.

Using the Trigger app, you can encode NFC tags and perform tasks or adjust settings, such as the following:

• WiFi and Bluetooth settings( including Airplane mode, auto-sync,  GPS on/off and mobile data on/off)

• Sound and volume settings ( sound profile,  ringtone, ring/ notification volume, notification tone,  media volume, system volume, alarm volume and vibrant when ringing)

• Display options ( Brightness,  notification light, auto rotation,  display timeout)

• Social media ( tweeting, checking in via check- in services such as Foresquare, Facebook,  google Latitude, google places)

• Messages ( auto-sync,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 lock screen)

• Make phone call

• Samsung specific modes( blocking mode, driving mode,  power saving mode)

• Create tasker task.

To save all your selected actions/tasks onto the NFC tag, just tap the “Save & Write” button. And, to execute the actions or tasks, just tap the device’s back against the tag.

Mobile Payments
Mobile payments are what NFC is most used for. There are quite a few of them out there, with the most popular ones being Samsung Pay and Google Pay. There’s also Apple Pay, but the service doesn’t work with Android devices.

To make payments with your phone, you first need to sign up for one of the payment methods available. Samsung Pay is only compatible with Samsung devices, while Google Pay works on handsets running Android 4.4 KitKat and higher. When you’re up and running, you can start making payments at supported retailers.
To do so, the first thing to do is make sure that NFC is enabled. Then hold the back of your device close to the payment terminal for a few seconds and wait until the payment is completed. If you’re using Android Pay, a blue check mark will appear on your screen when the transaction is made. Keep in mind that you may have to enter your PIN code at the end depending on the amount of purchase, or sign the receipt.

Comparison With Bluetooth

There are several important technological differences between the two that gives NFC some significant benefits in certain circumstances. The major argument in favor of NFC is that it requires much less power consumption than Bluetooth. This makes NFC perfect for passive devices, such as the advertising tags mentioned earlier, as they can operate without a major power source.

However, this power saving does have some major drawbacks. Most notably, the range of transmission is much shorter than Bluetooth. While NFC has a range of around 10 cm, just a few inches, Bluetooth connections can transmit data up to 10 meters or more from the source. Another drawback is that NFC is quite a bit slower than Bluetooth. It transmits data at a maximum speed of just 424 kbit/s, compared to 2.1 Mbit/s with Bluetooth 2.1 or around 1 Mbit/s with Bluetooth Low Energy.

But NFC does have one major advantage: faster connectivity. Due to the use of inductive coupling, and the absence of manual pairing, it takes less than one tenth of a second to establish a connection between two devices. While modern Bluetooth connects pretty fast, NFC is still super handy for certain scenarios. Namely mobile payments.

Is NFC Safe?
NFC is great for when you’re out of credit, out of data, have no Wi-Fi or carrier signal, or don’t have a cable to do a PC transfer. It’s quick, easy, and bumping two phones together is fun. However, due to the very close proximity required for NFC to work, these vulnerabilities are not such a big issue. After all, a thief would have to be within centimeters of your deceive to skim your data via NFC. If you are using Google Pay, you can rest assured that your credit card number is never transmitted. Instead, an individual digital account number is used to identify your payment details.

Do you want NFC on your smartphone? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comment box below.

Special thanks to our dear Admin Elaine2046 for her support and guidance.


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2019-06-18 00:50:24
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News Reporter

ᎮᏒᎥᏁፈᏋ | from Redmi Note 4X


Well Explained !!
2019-06-18 02:46:42
Thanks for sharing.
2019-06-18 03:00:35

Master Bunny

Andrea3777 | from Mi MIX 2S


2019-06-18 03:21:46

Master Bunny

1860bodo | from Redmi Note 5


thanks for sharing
2019-06-18 03:33:51

Beta Team-Global

Animesh Singh | from Redmi Note 6 Pro


Thread content is interesting. Thanks for sharing
2019-06-18 04:03:59

Advanced Bunny

ib iliyas | from Redmi Note 5A


this is very helpful. thanks
2019-06-18 04:13:47

Beta Team-Global

Robi1980 | from MI 9


Thanks for sharing
2019-06-18 04:50:51

Advanced Bunny

notchless | from MI 6


Nfc is essential
2019-06-18 05:00:53
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
2019-06-18 05:09:41
Well Explained !!
2019-06-18 05:13:31
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