NFC (Near Field Communication) is getting popular in the smart phones. It brings kinds of convenience to our lives, like contactless payment, sharing contacts, photos, electronic identity, etc. More details can be seen on wiki–NFC.
Figure 1 Results when searching for NFC on Google play
There are a host of apps available from the Google app store, as shown in Figure 1. Below are some NFC apps that I have searched and a brief summary.
|NFC Tools||Seems most popular one, more than 3000 reviews. Needs the NFC tasks installed as well.|
|NFC Task Launcher||Recommended by Jason Cipriani in his blog on how to program an NFC tag with your Android device. Less than 100 reviews on Google play and it seems not quite popular. When opening this app, it asks me to install Tasker, which needs £2.99. So I dropped this app.|
|NFC TagWriter||Developed the NXP company, whose NFC chips are used widely. There on more than 1800 reviews on Google play|
|NFC Actions||A user friendly App. Near 300 reviews.|
These apps provided a great number of functions, such as enable your Wifi, Bluetooth, set airplane mode, compose an Email, send an SMS, etc. The most interesting one for me is very simple: write Wifi password into the NFC tag, so next time, when my friends come by, they can just tap their phones on the tag and they will access the WIFI network. I am really tired of telling them the password one by one, again and again… Funny! This simple task looks not that kind of easy. I tried several apps and they can write information to the NFC tag conveniently. The problem is that they need the phone that tapped the tag also install that specific app as well. For example, I write the NFC tags using NFC Tools and my friend’s phone should have installed the NFC tools, otherwise, this action cannot be done successfully. I am a little disappointed and I am not alone. Christian posted the problem on Stackoverflow. An expert gives the answer that there is currently no way to transfer WiFi credentials using NFC without the help of a dedicated app. Maybe the Android will publish a standard to uniform this feature and no more dedicated app is needed. Anyway, here below are the steps for writing WIFI password into NFC tag using the popular NFC Tools. The task have been finished using Nexus 5 and the steps should be similar for other NFC phones. In the TASKS tab view, select Add a task, then select Networks. Here, we will set two options. Firstly, click the Wi-Fi tab to Enable the Wi-Fi. Then, select Wi-Fi network to type in your Wi-Fi SSID (Your Wi-Fi name) and password. After setting the above two steps, go back to the TASKS tab, as shown in the first figure below. The two tasks have been added successfully. Tap the Write button, the phone will ask you to approach a NFC Tag. Put your phone on top of the NFC tag, the action will be finished in fraction of seconds! Finally, you can ask your friends to test this tag for you. Make sure that they have installed the same NFC app on their phones. Good luck!