16/03/2016

NFC : It's facts and why you should use it

NFC has been in existence for some time now, as it's been developed in some smartphones like the Blackberry devices. Nowadays, it's hard to come across a smartphone that doesn't support NFC. I know you must have heard of it often, but don't know how it is used while some don't even know it exists on their smartphone.
NFC is an acronym which simply means ( Near Field Communication).



NFC is a short range wireless RFID( Radio Frequency Identification) technology which enables the exchange of data between devices held a few centimeters from each other.
Unlike Bluetooth devices which only makes use of direct radio transmissions, NFC makes use of interacting electromagnetic radio fields.
The explanation above already describes what NFC is, but what is its usefulness? Here I will be sharing with you what NFC is all about and why you should use it.


What is NFC?


Like I mentioned earlier, NFC simply means Near Field Communication which is a means of making your phone interact with something close in range. It works within the radius of 4-10cm and permits a wireless connection between two devices. It's just like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but works differently, I would say more of Bluetooth. NFC doesn't need a Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE network to work properly, hence not cost to use. It permits a two way communication, with the devices involved being able to send and receive information.


Is it like Bluetooth?


They are alike actually as I mentioned earlier, as both Bluetooth and NFC offer a wireless 2 way transmission between devices and comes in recently or modern smartphones.
They differ though in some aspect, as Bluetooth has an operational range which is larger and divided into different classes, as it has the class 1 type which operates at 100m(330ft), the class 2 which is most common has an operating range of up to 10m(33ft in some instances), with the class 3 being the least having a range of up to 1m (3ft).
It consumes battery most times but getting better thanks to BLE ( Bluetooth Low Energy) development. Bluetooth takes a little long to setup as you need to add and pair devices, and also could be difficult a little to navigate in crowded situation, because of its wide range.


What can you use NFC for?


Mostly, NFC is typically used to listen to music via wireless speakers. In this aspect, NFC relies on the data transfer via Bluetooth, but the NFC is actually responsible for the initial connection of your smartphone to your speakers. This makes the connection effective without depending on Bluetooth paring of speaker and smartphones.


NFC tags connection


NFC tags are small stickers or tags that consists of NFC chips which can be programmed to give any kind of information to your smartphone. An NFC tag consists of links to Web address, and can also be set to perform certain actions with your smartphone, like turning off the Wi-Fi or ringer.


File transfer using NFC


With NFC you can transfer or send certain files between devices using the Android Beam app(android smartphones). In this aspect, NFC on some smartphones don't need Android Beam as they can send files just by placing the backs of the phones on each other like on Blackberry devices and others. To do this both devices need to have the Android Beam and enable NFC on both, then navigate to the file you wish to send, let's say a picture, and tap the devices together. That's it! There's no need to select any send via options, just the devices place back to back like I mentioned earlier, and when it asks to confirm the transfer tap the touch to beam. There exists a dedicated app you can also make use of known as the File Beam, and with this app it's much simpler and faster sending files between two devices. Click here to get the File Beam app for your Android.


Make payments with NFC


This aspect of NFC is going to be of good use soon, with the Tap and Pay feature it has. NFC payments are available in many stores across UK, US for purchases of £ 15 or less, by making use of the Android Pay app. All it needs is just tapping your phone against a terminal enabled. But some developing countries haven't started making use of it, as it's believed to be risky. Apple also included NFC antenna in their latest phones( first existed on iPhone 6) to work with its Apple Pay feature( and also will include same functionality in the Apple Watch). Click here to get he Android pay app for your Android smartphone.


How do you know if your phone supports NFC


It actually depends on the type of phone you are using, but as I mentioned earlier it's hard to see a modern smartphone that doesn't have NFC, as most smartphones now come with NFC. But still to know if your phone supports NFC, you can navigate to Settings> Wireless and Networks to see if NFC is listed. There you can see if it has or not.
NFC enables quick way of setting up connections between devices and also provides the fastest solution for file transfer between smartphones close in range.

Do you use NFC on your smartphone? How did you make use of it? Let's hear your thoughts from the comment section.

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