4 Fun Ways to Use NFC on Your Android

Share files, make mobile payments, and more with NFC technology

Near field communication (NFC) makes it possible to exchange information between smartphones and other smart devices quickly. Uses for NFC on Android phones include file sharing, contactless payment systems, and programmable NFC tags.

The information below applies to any Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, or other manufacturers.

Share Content With Other Android Devices

With programs like Nearby Share (an AirDrop competitor introduced by Google), it's possible to share pictures, videos, web pages, contact information, and other types of data with others nearby. For example, share a photo after it's snapped or exchange contact information at a networking event without having to search for a pen. Nearby Share replaced Android Beam, which has been deprecated.

Pay With Your Smartphone at the Register With Android Pay

In a contactless payment system, customers swipe their smartphones instead of pulling out their credit cards at the cash register. With NFC enabled, you can store your credit card information in Google Pay or Samsung Pay and swipe your smartphone during checkout. Credit card companies have gotten into the game with Mastercard PayPass and Visa payWave.

Program NFC Tags

NFC tags are small unpowered NFC chips that can be programmed to do specific things when swiped. For example, program these devices to do simple actions such as activate wireless tethering, launch apps depending on your location, dim the phone screen at bedtime, turn off notifications, or set alarms and timers. You can also set up more complicated processes such as booting your PC.

Programming an NFC tag is easy, and you'll need to download an app to do so. Many apps are available in the Google Play Store, such as NFC Tools and NFC TagWriter. You can also use an NFC tag on your business card so that new contacts can save your information in a snap.

Share Your Wi-Fi Network Via NFC

When you have guests over, don't give them your Wi-Fi password. Instead, use an NFC tag to share it. This method is more secure since your guests won't know the password.

Your guests must install a free NFC reader app, such as NFC Reader, on their smartphones to use your NFC tags.

  • How do I turn off NFC on Android?

    To turn off NFC on Android, go to Settings > Connected devices > Connection Preferences > NFC. Select the NFC toggle to set it to the Off position.

  • Can I add NFC to my Android?

    No. If your Android doesn't support NFC, you can connect an external NFC reader, but it won't work if your phone lacks the necessary internal hardware and software.

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