NFC stands for Near Field Communication. The technology is not only used for mobile payment such as Android Pay and Apple Pay or exchanging photos and contacts between two mobile devices, but you can make a set of tasks on your device and have it remembered by a piece of sticker called NFC tag. A tag is available online for less than a dollar. It contains a chip and doesn’t have a power source. When an NFC-support device, such as a smartphone is close (usually, a back of smartphone faces to a tag within an inch or so), a tag takes a small amount of power from smartphone and send back whatever information it stores.
NFC Tools Pro Edition
NFC Tools is a basic app for managing NFC tags. With the apps, various tasks can be written on tags such as changing smartphones settings, making a phone call, playing music, etc. You can add multiple tasks to a single tag so tags would be unique, creative and useful. For example, a NFC tag in my car goes like this;
- Disable Wifi
- Enable Bluetooth
- Play Google Music
- Brightness mode to Automatic
- Launch Google Map
An order of tasks are sometimes important, and you can freely change it in the apps. The tag in my car executes ‘Launch Google Map’ last, and Google Maps remains open. So, I can see the traffic or type the destination right away. NFC Tools is free, but some useful tasks are available only in NFC Tools Pro Edition ($3.49, for Android only)
Some apps provide even more creative way of using NFC tags. Here are some apps.
When you invite your friend and let them use your Wi-Fi network, you have to tell them a password. However, InstaWifi allows you to let them connect to your Wi-Fi without giving up the password. After writing NFC tags, all you have to do is to tell your friends to tap the tag with their devices. The devices must support NFC technology, but InstaWifi has an option to create QR code instead of NFC tag. InstaWifi is free (for Android only.)
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is the app for tracking your sleep with smartphone’s sensors and setting the alarm with variety features. One of the features called CAPTCHA keeps you from oversleeping. After writing a tag and setting it up, you will have to tap the tag to stop the alarm. Stick a tag somewhere far from your bed, say bathroom. After stopping an alarm, just wash your face and your day will start without wasting any minutes. CAPTCHA has many other options like Simple math, QR Code, etc. And a sleep tracking data would be useful and helpful to improve your sleep. Sleep as Android costs $3.99, and it’s free to try for two weeks (for Android only.)
all 4 hue (for Philips Hue)
all 4 hue is the app for advanced controlling and configuring Philips Hue lighting system. What the app does with NFC tags is to make the tags remember ‘scenes’ so you can activate ‘scenes’ by tapping the tags. A free version of the app allows you to use all the features with some restrictions. It costs $4.49 to remove all restrictions (available for Android and iOS.)
See also: all 4 hue (for Philips Hue) review
Many other apps support NFC technology. Try exploring features of apps you use often, and you may find NFC supports in some apps. NFC technology is also available for recent smartwatches like Apple Watch and Sony SmartWatch 3. You can make a payment with a tap of your wrist. The technology is making your life easier and easier.