Different Uses for NFC on the Mobile Phone

May 8, 2018
How To

NFC (near field communication) is one of the most powerful yet underutilized features that is available for the mobile phone. Given the disconnect that exists between the number of functions that can be utilized with NFC coupled with the large number of people who are not familiar with the different functions that it can be applied to, this article discusses some of the best uses for the NFC technology on the phone.

Prior to engaging in any of these activities, NFC needs to first be enabled on the device while for Android phones, Android Beam needs to also be activated. This can be done by going into the main Settings app, Connections, and then switching the toggle for NFC as well as Android Beam. After these steps are taken, users can then employ the methods below.

Making Payments

One of the most popular ways to use NFC is for payments with the mobile phone. With this, users can load their different financial cards on the device and use it to tap on applicable point of sale (POS) systems as they would with their physical cards. With the Apply Pay and Google Wallet apps, users can replace a significant part of the physical wallets with virtual cards for more convenience and accessibility, all of which is powered by the NFC technology found on the phone. All that is required to utilize this method of payment is for users to upload their card details into the respective apps and then select the card to be used upon payments, making it comparable to utilizing physical cards with its high degree of ease and simplicity.

Sending Data

One use of NFC that not many people are familiar with it is that it is able to facilitate the transfer of data including documents and contact information. With this, all that is required from users is to enable the NFC on their device and then hold the two devices together which will then begin to transfer the data. This can be done by opening the file, image, document, or app that a user wishes to share with another person, holding the device to the recipient device, and then selecting the Beam button. In doing so, the recipient will then get a notification that the file is being transferred. For example, to share an app, users need to open the app on one device, hold the phone up to the receiving device, and then click the Touch to Beam button at which point the recipient device will automatically be directed to the link to download the app. This can similarly be done with many other types of content including web pages, images, and music which makes it an easy solution for sending files. However, a limitation to this method is that the devices need to be in touching distance from one another otherwise the transfer will be ineffective which makes it a quick but limiting transferring method.

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NFC Tags

NFC tags are additional hardware that can be bought on places such as Amazon. With these tags, users can store information that is easy to share with others. For example, an NFC tag can be made to contain certain contact information so that if someone wants the information, users can simply tap their device on the sticker to get this information. To do this, users need to download NFC Tools (Android), Contacts, Fill in the information, and then connect it to the tag. Furthermore, multiple tags can be used, each of which has its own unique identifier so that users can have several for different purposes.

MacroDroid (Android) is an app that allows users to automate many of their routine tasks which can be further simplified with the use of NFC tags. For example, if a user must turn on their Bluetooth and connect it to the car each time they enter, they are able to use the NFC tag to automate this by going into the app, creating the macro, and then connecting it to the NFC tag. If this NFC tag is then placed in the car, users can simply tap their device to the tag each time they enter their vehicle at which point the Bluetooth will be activated and connected automatically instead of the user having to do it at all time. This is just one of the examples of the tasks that can be streamlined using NFC tags while nearly all other possible functions can also be automated with the app and tag as well.

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For those who are looking for ways in which to ease different aspect of phone use with the power of NFC, this article explores the different applications of the technology. From making payments to sending files and even automating many different tasks, these different NFC functions are powerful, making them a tool with significant potential.

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Kevin Chau

Following my passion in the realm of business and entrepreneurship, I am always eager to develop skills that enable me to learn, build, and grow. My previous projects, both academic and personal, reflect my dedication towards expanding and applying my theoretical knowledge for practical results in these fields.

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