Make use of your Android phone’s NFC chip in these 8 useful ways
Near field communication (NFC) was once heralded as a game changer in smartphone tech. IT is a set of communication protocols that enable two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (or 2 inches) of each other without having any reckonable effect on your battery life.
This ultra-efficient form of wireless communication may not look very powerful. However, it can be a formidable tool with a little cleverness. You can trigger all kinds of cool actions on your smartphone combined with hi-tech stickers called NFC tags, useful NFC apps, or another NFC-enabled device.
Given below are eight of the best NFC uses. However, you will need an NFC-enabled smartphone to try out the actions below. While many of the Android devices manufactured in the last five years will have this feature, however, before you begin ensure that you have enabled NFC in your phone’s settings.
In addition, some of these NFC tricks will require the use of an NFC tag. These small stickers communicate with your NFC enabled device and can be purchased for less than a dollar on Amazon.
1. Share Wi-Fi Passwords with Friends
It is troublesome to verbally share a secure Wi-Fi password that contains numbers, symbols, and capitals. However, this hack allows an NFC tag to do all of the work for you. Called InstaWiFi, this app allows your guests to just scan an NFC tag to automatically log into your Wi-Fi network.
The other user will either be logged automatically into your Wi-Fi network, or prompted to install InstaWiFi based on their Android version. At this point, they just need to open the app and tap their phone to your NFC tag to log into your network.
2. View Public Transit Card Details
These days most of the major cities use bus and train cards that have NFC. It’s how you can just tap your card to the terminal to pay your fare. While most of the public transit systems use encryption to safeguard the transaction, the decryption key in several cities is available to the public. In other words, if you are residing in an eligible city, you can install an app called FareBot to read the information stored on your transit card, which includes balance, trip details, and any other transactions.
3. Send Files, Photos, & More with Android Beam
Android Beam is a great feature that comes with every NFC-enabled Android device. By simply bringing two phones together, you can send files, share photos, and even beam links to another Android device. It’s a cool way to share content with your friends and family.
4. Ditch Your Wallet with Android Pay
Mobile Payments is one of the most common uses of NFC. This used to be called Google Wallet on Android, and it was only limited to Nexus devices.
However, Google Wallet was recently refurbished and rechristened to Android Pay (even though the Wallet app still exists), which is available to all Android devices running KitKat or higher. You can pay for goods and services by using just your phone. All you need to do is to install the app, add a card, and tap away.
5. Tap Your Wallet To Check Your Bank Account Balance
This next trick just requires an initial setup. Once done, all you have to do is tap your phone against your wallet and you will be able to see your bank account balance at any time. To start off, ensure that you are enrolled in your bank’s Text Banking feature. Then, install an NFC-automation app called Trigger, as well as its SMS plugin.
Open Trigger and create a new task using NFC as the trigger, leaving all restrictions disabled. Next, add an action to your task, then under the Messages category, go and select the “Send a Text Message” option. Enter your bank’s automated balance request phone number as the recipient, and then enter the balance request command as the message. Check out this thread on Pastebin or contact your bank directly to know the list of text banking phone numbers and commands for well-known banks.
You will then be prompted to scan an NFC tag, once you have finished setting up your Trigger task. Get hold of one of the tags that you have purchased online and hold it up next to the phone to scan it, and then pop the tag into your wallet.
By simply tapping the back of your phone against your wallet (with the NFC tag inside), you can now easily check your balance. When Trigger senses the NFC tag it will immediately text your bank and you will get a reply with your information in seconds.
6. Make Your Remote Tell You What’s On TV
While this is similar to the previous NFC trick, this one requires you to install the Trigger app to automate a task when your phone scans a particular NFC tag. Since, it allows you to tap your phone against your remote to see the upcoming TV schedule, this trick takes laziness to the next level.
To start, create a new task from the app’s main menu, and then ensure that you select NFC as the trigger, and when prompted leave all restrictions disabled. Next, add an action to your task, then choose “Open a URL/URI” from the Applications & Shortcuts section. Then, enter the URL of your favorite TV listings website, then press “Add to Task.”
Trigger will ask you to scan an NFC tag to launch the task once you are done. So keep that in mind, and insert the tag behind your TV remote’s battery door. Henceforth, just tap your phone against the back of your remote whenever you would like to know what’s on TV, and the TV listings website that you have entered will automatically come up.
7. Wake Your PC Remotely
In this trick, all you need to do is just adjust a few options on your Windows computer, and then installing a few apps on your Android phone. Click on the link below to know how you can get this feature set up in no time.
8. Force Yourself to Get Out of Bed
Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning? Well, NFC can in fact help you with this. Sleep as Android, which is a sleep monitoring and alarm clock app, has a feature that needs you to scan an NFC tag before your alarm is dismissed. In other words, you can stick a tag in your bathroom to actually force yourself to get out of bed before your alarm will stop ringing.
If you wish to try it out, you need to go to the settings menu and choose the CAPTCHA option, and change the Default CAPTCHA to “NFC tag.” Then, follow the prompts to scan and learn your NFC tag. Further, in order to dismiss your alarm, you will have to physically get out of bed and scan this tag.