NFC (Near Field Communication) is a fantastic feature that is built in to your BlackBerry phone. Apart from using it for making payments from your mobile phone, it has many other uses. Tap against another NFC enabled phone to share files, pictures and contact information etc. Tap NFC tags to share information such as contacts, calendar events, links to websites, change settings, etc.
NFC Tags come in a variety of shapes and designs, from a sticker type to keyrings, and they can be bought quite cheaply online from eBay, Amazon etc. I bought 11 sticker style tags with a free keychain tag for around $11.00AU including delivery from eBay, which is more than enough to place in several places. This makes it easy to place practically anywhere such as the dashboard of your car, at your front door or on your desk. They are maintenance free and don’t consume any power. They can be programmed to do a variety of things using the inbuilt Smart Tags app on your BB10 device. The Priv, whilst having NFC capability, will require an app to program tags, however it will read a tag that has already been programmed.
Taking a look at the Smart Tags app on BB10 devices, there are numerous options to program your tags. You can:
- Create a link to a web page
- Create Smart Triggers
- Connect to a specific WiFi network
- Pair with a specific Bluetooth device
- Share contact info (great for handing out your contact details to customers or friends)
- Share an event from your calendar
- Share your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile
- Find directions for an address
- Dial a specific phone number
- Compose a text or email message
- Share URLs such as a downloadable app etc.
Looking at the Smart Triggers, there are numerous options:
- Turn on Flight Mode
- Turn on, off or toggle Mobile Network
- Turn on, off or toggle WiFi
- Turn on, off or toggle Bluetooth
- Change or toggle Notification modes
- Turn on, off or toggle alarm clocks
- Launch an app
- Set Wallpaper
- Turn on, off or toggle Development Mode
The Smart Tags app on your BB10 device allows you to lock an NFC tag to prevent being accidently erased, you can erase and re-write to tags, and also has the ability to scan barcodes and QR codes. If you are missing the Smart Tags app on your BB10 device you can download it from BlackBerry World here.
For the Priv there are numerous apps located in the Google Play store, just do a search for NFC. I have purchased an app called NFC Tools – Pro Edition for $4.49AU which I am yet to play around with, but there is also a free version NFC Tools. There are literally hundreds of apps available for NFC in the Play Store, just a matter of finding the best app for you.
Why not jump online and do a search for NFC tags, they are cheap enough to grab a batch and play around with different settings and programs. Once you give them a try, you’ll realise how easy they are to program and set up and you will appreciate how something so simple can make life a little easier. You may end up having them placed in several locations!
We would like to know if you use the NFC feature on your phone, and what you use it for. Do you use it for mobile payments? Do you use NFC Tags? If so what have you programmed them to do? Please let us know in the comments below or better yet, head on over to the forums and tell us all about it here.