NFC, short for Near Field Communication, is a technology that enables user to establish communication between two devices by simply touching them together or bringing them close to each other. Most new Android smartphones come equipped with NFC and therefore they support Android Beam. Android Beam lets users to share content by touching both the devices with each other.
You can share content like music, videos, photos, web pages and any files, with other NFC enabled devices like phones and tablets. If this seems interesting, then let’s learn how it works.
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Before proceeding, you will need to ensure that both of your devices support NFC. Many Android smartphones and tablets support NFC, and you can check if your device has this technology by checking the tech specs on the web or directly on your device.
To check it, open your device’s Setting screen, and tap on “More” under Wireless & Networks.
If you can see the NFC option here then it means that your device supports NFC. This feature was introduced with Android 4.0, and if you’re using older version of Android, then you won’t be able to see this option.
From the same settings screen, enable NFC and Android Beam. Follow the same procedure on both the devices.
Now, open the app, or content that you want to share. For example; you can open a web page in Chrome browser, Google Maps, YouTube, photos and more.
Many of the default apps that come with the device support Android Beam and many third-party apps also support it, and you just need to figure it out.
When you’re ready to send content between two devices with Android Beam, ensure that both the devices are unlocked. If they are not unlocked, then it won’t work. Now simply place both the devices back to back.
When the NFC connection is established, you should hear a sound. Also you’ll be able to see “Touch to beam” on the screen. Touch the screen of the device and you can see the content on the other device.
While this is fairly simple for smartphones, it can get a little tricky for tablets and the reason for this is that you need to press the other device to the area where the NFC chip of the tablet is located at. For example; on the Nexus 7, the NFC chip is located near the upper part of the back, and for Nexus 10, it is located near the rear camera.
Under the hood, the real magic here is happening because of the Bluetooth. NFC here is used to establish a Bluetooth connection for a short time only. The Bluetooth part is handled by Android automatically, and you don’t need to manually enable it or do any other thing.