NFC on Android: why and how you should use it

NFC on Android: why and how you should use it

You may or may not have an Android NFC smartphone. What is this technology, what is it for and how to use NFC on Android? Explanations and answers to your questions in this special NFC Android guide.

Quick access

What is NFC?

As I said in the introduction, NFC is a line from the technical sheet of telephones that you can also find in your settings in the submenu of wireless networks and connections. NFC or Near Field Communication is actually a chip that allows the exchange of information between two equipped devices.

How do I know if my Android smartphone is NFC?

To find out if an Android smartphone is NFC, it's very simple, you can check in the settings that the NFC menu exists. An application can also be on the smartphone. In addition, most Android NFC smartphones now have the functionality but do not hesitate to check before buying your new smartphone.

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The NFC Logo is easy to recognize. AndroidPIT

what is NFC for Android?

One chip is said to be passive and receives information, the other is active and sends it. It takes a physical connection between these two chips for communication to take place. It is the gesture that you operate by sticking your bus card above the terminal and it is also like that that it is necessary to proceed between two smartphones. In theory, it suffices to bring readers together so that they can communicate with each other physically in a close manner.

We can change data like files, identify devices, typically to pair a Bluetooth device, we use NFC. Another use of NFC on Android is tags. These are small objects that can take any form, the only condition as long as they contain an NFC chip capable of communicating with your Android smartphone.

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Using NFC is a breeze. AndroidPIT

You can assign an action to a tag, which will be triggered each time the smartphone, smartwatch or any device enters the communication field of the chip. For example, you can change your smartphone profile by placing an NFC terminal or tag next to the front door, at home and bringing the smartphone closer to it each time you enter.

How to use NFC on Android?

If on iOS NFC technology is only used for payments, in the form of Apple Pay. On Android, the possibilities are quite different.

Means of payment : the NFC chip allows your Android smartphone to transform into a credit card. The market for payment by telephone is very promising: it is estimated that it will soon generate 50 billion euros worldwide by the end of the year. In Japan, it has become common to buy with your phone what is rather rare in France despite the availability of more and more services (Google Pay, Samsung Pay ….).

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Paying with your smartphone is easy thanks to NFC. Aldi North

Pass, identification: in exactly the same way, NFC can be used virtually anywhere, on the bus, to access a concert hall, etc. To identify you and let you pass. This is also the technology used by RATP and by almost all public transport companies for subscription cards.

Data transfer: NFC is no longer used for transferring files, links to applications, images, music, Google Maps localization, etc. Alas since Android 10, the Android Beam data exchange technology is no longer available. Instead of NFC, the new software relies on Bluetooth and WiFi.

How to send files via NFC on Android

Google announced many interesting new Android 10 features at Google IO 2019, but there was also one that didn't tell us: a replacement for Android Beam. Android Beam, the method of natively sharing files and images using NFC technology, is no longer part of the Google operating system. However, you can still use it on previous versions.

To use NFC on Android, first activate it in the settings.

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The NFC a priori consumes little or no battery when it is not in use. You can still turn it off when you're not using it. AndroidPIT

The principle is then simple: you must go to the gallery, your file explorer, etc. Where the file is located, then paste the two smartphones back to back. It can sometimes take a few seconds to find the right angle. The chip is in principle always located under the logo.

Once the connection is established, the device receiving the data displays a notification. Just accept for the transfer to begin.

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Just accept for the transfer to begin. AndroidPIT

NFC on Android: the problems

  • All devices are in theory now NFC compatible (there are some exceptions, however)
  • The NFC chips are not all placed in the same place. You can also check where it is if you don't want to spend an hour rubbing the back of your devices by turning them to find the correct position of the two chips on smartphones.
  • Not all devices work with each other, especially for certain files. So some brands work more or less well between them.

Do you use NFC?

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