There is no shortage of Android apps for NFC, some are made for reading and writing NFC tags, while others perform specific tasks like unlocking your smartphone, setting up a smart alarm and sharing WiFi, etc. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the popular NFC apps for Android. Let’s begin.
Android Apps to Use NFC Tags
1. NFC Tools
It’s a simple app which lets you read, write or erase NFC tags.
Once you open the app, you see 4 tabs on the top – Read, Write, Others, Tasks. The Read option lets you read the maker, serial number and type of the tag. With Write option, you can write basic information to the tags like – text, URL, phone number, etc. And taping on ‘Others’, give you advance options such as formatting the card, setting a password, etc.
Overal, if you all you need to do is basic functions, NFC Tools should be sufficient for you.
Download NFC Tools
While NFC tools let you perform a single action with your NFC tags, Trigger specializes in tasks that require a chain of action. For example, if I want to toggle WiFi with my NFC tag, I’ll prefer NFC Tools but, if I want to set a night routine on NFC tag that will turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, and then open my journal app, I’ll use Trigger app.
The app works in the principal of IFTTT and tasker. That’s there are two parts – trigger and action. The trigger is when you phone come in contact with NFC tag and action is a series of tasks it does after it.
The best part about Trigger, it also offers plugins and let you integrate your tasks with Tasker which is another automation Android app. Here is a detailed article on how to use the Trigger app to program NFC tags.
3. Sleep As Android
If you are not a morning person, this is the app you need.
Sleep As Android is a smart alarm app which works with NFC too. You can set an alarm which will only go off by scanning the NFC tags. And then place NFC tags away from your bed like in the bathroom or kitchen. And in the morning when the alarm will turn ON, you will have to get up from your bed and scan the NFC tag to turned it off.
It also provides intelligent sleep tracking using the phone’s sensor, but my favourite feature is that you can also set the app as an admin, so you can’t just close the app to bypass the alarm.
However, the steps to set up the NFC tag with Sleep As Android is buried under settings. To create a new alarm, tap on the three vertical dots next to it. A new window will open, scroll down to Miscellaneous and look for CAPTHA: Stop oversleeping option, tap on it and select NFC tag. From here you can just follow on-screen instructions.
Download Sleep As Android
4. NFC TagWriter by NXP
Developed by the leading NFC hardware manufacture NXP semiconductors, this app comes in handy for tasks like copying and formatting tags.
It is similar to trigger but also offer advance features like viewing the content of the tag, erasing it or writing it permanently with it read-only. If you have lots of QR code lying around that you want to convert into NFC, you can use this to convert QR Codes into NFC data sets.
Download NFC TagWriter by NXP
InstaWifi helps you share your WiFi password using the NFC tags.
Instead of revealing your WiFi password, simply write it in the NFC tags and stick it near the router. Your guest needs to scan the NFC tag to get WiFi access. Although, this app is only useful when your friends have NFC supported smartphones and have to installed this same app on their smartphones as well.
Alternatively, you can use the QR code feature built-in this app. Your friend can log in by scanning this code from any QR code reader app, which they might already have and if not then they won’t mind it downloading.
6. NFC TagInfo by NXP
Useful if you want to look into your NFC tags. Similar to NXP tag writer it’s also developed by NXP semiconductor. This app is particularly useful to the developers. Using this app you can analyze complete tag memory layout, identify tag type, manufacturer, how much memory is left in the card and check the NDEF record on it. Check it out if you are an NFC developer.
Download TagInfo by NXP
7. NFC ReTag
With this app, you can reuse the write protected NFC card. No need to buy new NFC tags for small household purposes if you already have written protected NFC like the metro card, hotel cards, price tags, gift cards, etc.
This is possible because this app doesn’t write anything on the tag itself but remember the tag id of the tags (which is unique like mac address of computers). Using this app you can do small tasks like toggling WiFi, Bluetooth, call a phone number, open an installed app, run Tasker task, etc.
Download NFC ReTag
8. NFC Developer
As the name suggests this application is made for the developers. You can make your own custom NFC task using the onlineNDEF editor from your computer and then write it to your NFC tags by scanning the QR code generated in the computer using this app.
If you are serious developed than I would recommend using the Eclipse plugin to write your custom program instead of online NDEF editor.
Download NFC Developer
Automate is similar to the previous Trigger app, but even more powerful. If you have use apps such as Tasker, IFTTT, you’ll feel right at home with Automate app. It takes Android automation to the next level.
The app uses flowcharts, and blocks to create complex automation process, which can all be triggered by s simple tap on the NFC tag. It also integrates well with third-party apps and services like a smart bulb, smart locks, etc.
For example, with automated, you can program your NFC tags to turn off all light in your room and then stick that NFC next to your door.
So, these were some of the best Android apps out there, that will help you make more use of your NFC tags. Let me know, which is your favourite app in the comments.