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

Thanks to 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 back of your phones together. For example, you can share a photo just 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 set-up process, a feature offered in Android Lollipop and later. Tap & Go transfers your apps and Google accounts directly from your old phone to the new phone via NFC so that you don't have to reinstall everything.

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

Pay With Your Smartphone at the Register With Android Pay

Even if you haven't used contactless payment systems, you've probably seen other customers swipe their smartphone instead of pulling out their credit card 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, you can program them for simple actions like activating wireless tethering, launching apps depending on your location, dimming your phone's screen at bedtime, turning off notifications, or setting alarms and timers. You can also set up more complicated processes such as booting up your PC.

Programming an NFC tag is easier than you might think, though you'll need to download an app to do so. Many are available in the Google Play Store. You can even 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, do you have to write out your long, hard-to-remember WiFi password? Why not use an NFC tag to share it instead? 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.