Android has supported NFC (Near-Field Communication) technology since the original release of Gingerbread, and Android Beam has even taken that a step further by enabling easy use URL, app and contact sine the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich just last year. While Android may have leading NFC technology, our friends and family in the world of Windows Phone are getting their first introduction to the world of NFC technology in the latest release of Windows Phone 8. Not only that, but they will even be able to connect to Android devices with NFC via Windows Phone 8 as well.
In addition to a new NFC compatible wallet in Windows Phone 8, the new software boasts of its “tap + send” feature, which is a Android Beam-like functionality that can happen between other NFC-enabled Windows Phones. Due to the feature being a multi-platform standard, these features will work just find between Windows Phone 8 devices and Android devices. Android Central kindly put together a video demonstrating how this works in action, check it out below!
In the video you’ll see Android Central’s own Alex Dobie demonstrating how to share contacts and web page URL’s from a Samsung Galaxy Nexus to a HTC 8X without any sort of trouble. Unfortunately, transferring big files like pictures or videos won’t be available to share cross-platform as it will be strictly Windows-to-Windows or Android-to-Android. Even then NFC can only share little bits of data so what happens is NFC initiates the transfer and Bluetooth does the actual file sharing.
Surely we will be seeing some more advanced cross-platform NFC capabilities later on as smartphone technology continues to get better and better. For now though, we are just going to have to settle with baby steps for the moment being. Although, technology in the smartphone world has been evolving extremely fast, I wouldn’t put it past developers and manufactures to get a fully working cross-platform NFC capable device going by the end of 2013 (of course, that also depends on the actual support within the operating system as well).
This really is only the beginning with what we are able to do when it comes to NFC. Android Beam and tap + send will only improve from now on, and who knows, maybe we will be seeing something much more powerful in the near future that is being worked on behind closed doors. I’m excited to see what developers are going to be bringing to the table, specifically Windows Phone 8. Microsoft is pushing Windows Phone 8 big time and based off of the event yesterday, they are really serious about this. I can only imagine what Microsoft plans to do with this operating system.
On a more unrelated note, based on this technology, I am really surprised that Apple decided to stay low when it came to NFC. Maybe they just didn’t want their iOS devices having any relation to Android?
Have you been able to try NFC sharing between a Android and Windows Phone 8 device yet? Do you see the potential that it could have?
source: Android Central