Android 2.3 introduced Near Field Communications (NFC) for the platform. Contact less, proximity-based applications that would allow developers to let you use your phone as a credit card for example. The Google Nexus S has an NFC chip built-in. This sort of things take time and we’re not quite there with the technology but Google has taken initiative and has further improved the NFC functionality with Android 2.3.3. New features include:
- A comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today.
- Advanced Intent dispatching that gives apps more control over how/when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range.
- Some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.
The SDK is available for developers today to start building apps and the update should roll out to customers (basically just Nexus S customers) sooner than later. I think once you’re able to actually pay with your phone using a major credit card company is the time that NFC becomes relevant. I’m certainly willing to give Mastercard’s Paypass system a try if I can use my phone to pay for fast food and groceries.
[via Twitter (@googlenexus)]