5 Fun and Practical Ways to Use NFC on Your Android

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

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

The information below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Share Content With Other Android Devices via NFC

With programs like Android Beam, it's possible to share pictures, videos, web pages, contact information, and other types of data with others by tapping the backs of your phones together. For example, share a photo after it's snapped, or exchange contact information at a networking event without having to search for a pen.

Set Up Your New Smartphone With NFC Using Tap & Go

Next time you upgrade your Android smartphone, try out Tap & Go during the setup process, a feature offered in Android Lollipop and later. Tap & Go transfers your apps and Google accounts from your old phone to the new phone using NFC so that you don't have to reinstall everything.

If you accidentally skipped this step in setup, restore your smartphone to factory settings and start over. 

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 Android Pay or Samsung Pay (if you have a Samsung device) and swipe your smartphone during checkout. Credit card companies have also gotten into the game with Mastercard PayPass and Visa payWave.

Program NFC Tags

NFC tags are small devices 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 up your PC.

Programming an NFC tag is easy and you'll need to download an app to do so. Many are available in the Google Play Store. You can also embed an NFC tag on your business cards 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 on their smartphones to use your NFC tags.