Google introduced NFC – Near Field Communications – back in late 2010 when it announced the Nexus S. At that time, the company touted NFC to be the next big thing in the smartphone world and how NFC will replace our wallets going forward.
While NFC is indeed useful, its adoption rate has been pretty low. No popular Android phone shipped with an NFC chip in the last year, and no new services were also announced which took advantage of this new technology. Google however is definitely trying to increase the NFC adoption rate with the Android Beam in Ice Cream Sandwich and by tying up with major credit card companies in the United States.
However, one developer realized the potential of NFC (and NFC tags) and has thus created NFC Task Launcher. The app allows users to use the NFC chip on their phone and NFC tags to create ‘tags’ which can do specified tasks, when read.
For instance, users can stick an NFC tag in their car dock, which will automatically switch their phone to car dock, when it reads the NFC tag. Definitely handy and useful!
Below is a video of NFC Task Launcher in action -:
NFC Task Launcher can be purchased from the Android Market for a mere $1.99. The app does not work with Ice Cream Sandwich/Galaxy Nexus, because the latest version of Android OS is not capable of writing tasks to blank NFC tags. The issue will however be fixed in an upcoming Android OS update.
Update: The app does work on the Galaxy Nexus/Ice Cream Sandwich but requires NFC tags to be pre-encoded with NDEF message. Here is what the developer said “The app works quite well on the Galaxy Nexus, the only issue is formatting blank NFC tags (due to the bug in ICS). However, most vendors now offer the ability to have the NFC tags shipped pre-encoded with an NDEF message. If the tags are already NDEF then the Galaxy Nexus can write/re-write them without any issues.”