There is a lot of confusion about mobile payments with phones due to advertising and promotions. You'll often see a store with a sticker that says "We take Apple Pay" or another one that says "Google Pay accepted here" and it causes you to think that if you don't have or use that specific mobile payment type, then you're out of luck. This just isn't the case. NFC Payments are NFC Payments. If a store takes them, then it takes all of them. If a store doesn't take them, then you can't use them (unless, of course you have a Samsung Galaxy since those phones are also equipped with a magnetic transmitter to mimic an actual credit card stripe). At any store that takes Samsung Pay, you can also use Apple Pay or Google Play and the other way around. Stores get paid or get breaks sometimes to
There's a new concept in NFC that's been all the rage on the Android news sites lately - it's called Dimple. And it's a quite simple, yet brilliant idea. Rather than having NFC Tags that you tap to make something happen - why not have several NFC Chips attached to one antenna that can all be attached to your phone and you simply press a "dimple" button that then engages that chip to trigger something on your phone. It basically gives you 2 or 4 extra phone buttons that can be programmed by you to do just about anything you want. The only drawback, if there is one, is that the buttons must be placed where they can interact with your phone's NFC. But for most people this would be a large area of the back of their phone which is the most likely place to put the extra buttons anyway since the screen takes up all the front real estate. Also, HTC One M8 users can't really make use of dimple because the metal body design required the NFC antenna to be put around the camera so the only way a dimple would work is if it covered the camera. If the basic concept of Dimple wasn't enough, they also made sure it had Tasker integration - something a true Android fan will love. Overall, I'm excited about this idea and eager to see how the general Android public adopts it.
Don't you love it when large organizations finally catch up with what every day people want or often are already doing?!? There have been apps on Google Play for a while now that would allow anyone with the app to connect to your WiFi simply by tapping an NFC Tag you have programmed with the same app. Now, according to this article on NFC World the WiFi Alliance has finally realized this is a good thing and this feature can now be programmed into your WiFi device. Much like BlueTooth Tap to Pair/Connect this will allow anyone to simply tap an NFC embedded chip and connect to the WiFi without needing to enter any passwords.
LG is implementing NFC in home appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and washers/dryers. Features allow you to manage machines remotely or in the case of a washer, download additional "modes" to the machine. LG first introduced the technology at CES earlier this year. A recent article on NFC WORLD gives a little more info about the Washing Machine NFC feature.
Is an NFC Feature something that would sway you to LG over a competitor?
Apparently Wells Fargo is offering it's customers an incentive to use the NFC based tap and pay system Isis. The offer is reportedly 20% off purchases and a one time $20 statement credit. Not bad! Even if you're mad at Isis for being partly to blame for Google Wallet not being the universal solution it could and should have been, there's no reason NOT to take advantage of this offer at least. You can always uninstall Isis once you get your credit! Get the Isis App on Google Play HERE. Find out more about the promotion on the special Wells Fargo ISIS Promo Page.
If there is one thing we all have with us all of the time, it's our driver's license. Now imagine that Driver's license having TWO NFC Chips inside of it - one would be for official use by police, government officials, and the like and would contain your identification information. The other one, however, would be open and could be programmed by you! This second one could be used to unlock your car or store your insurance information so you don't have to worry about carrying around a separate insurance card. According to NFCworld.com, France is going to start issuing these type of licenses soon. I think it's a great idea and hope the U.S. picks up on this! What do you think?
This is a video review of the Arkon NFC Car Mount. Holds the phone nicely. Has new sticky suction cup to hold firm. AND has an NFC Tag built into it.
Another NFC Ring upstart, but this one geared towards one specific thing - only the bearer of the ring can unlock and use the phone! A company called Tuit has created an NFC Ring that along with their app will lock your Android phone in such a way that only if you have the ring can you unlock it. Right now, they are working on getting funding through Kickstarter. The ring looks a bit bulky for my taste - I don't even wear my wedding ring becasue it drives me crazy, but if you're a ring person, then it's definitely a cool concept. You can view the video below and check out their Kickstarter page here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fransen/tuit
Eric Wrye of AndyTags
Eric is the founder of AndyTags and the designer behind all of the tags available on the site. He also has an Android App Video review channel and an app or two on Google Play he created himself.