How to Add NFC to Android Phone

Have you ever heard about NFC? Whenever it comes to online payment, there is a discussion about NFC. Yes, friends, I am talking about the same NFC which is used in systems like Samsung Pay and Android Pay.

This feature was often used in high-end devices but it is currently available in mid-ranged as well. Perhaps you must have heard this acronym too, but do you know what it is, how it works, and where it is used?

Perhaps you have also used NFC as you can see it in almost all the new smartphones today. But even after using it, there are very few people who have complete knowledge about it. It may sound a bit scary to hear, but in reality, it is very easy to understand and it is also a thing of great use.

Where earlier it was present in only a few costly phones, today it has started happening in almost all smartphones. That’s why today I thought that you should not be provided complete information about what NFC is.

So that you people get information about this technology and it will be easier for you to understand and use it better. So without delay let’s start and know what NFC is and how it works in Smartphones.

What is NFC?

How to Add NFC to Android Phone The full form of NFC is “Near Field Communication”. And as its name suggests, through this short-range communication can be done between any two compatible devices. RF signals are used for this communication.

For this communication to be complete, at least one transmitting device is needed, and to receive the signal, a receiving device is needed. As we have already learned that NFC stands for Near Field Communication. If its main purpose is seen, then its main use is used to interact with the surroundings of your phone.

It operates only with a radius close to 4 cm and provides a wireless connection between your device and others. This technology allows two-way communication, where you can send and receive information on both devices.

This NFC connection does not depend on any technologies such as Wi-Fi, 3G, LTE, or any other and you do not have to pay any money to use it.

NFC is born out of RFID. RFID, or radio-frequency identification, is a technology used in shipping companies, in large warehouses, and in superstores to track goods. It uses electromagnetic induction to transmit information in a short space so that just by scanning a container, it is known what is in it.

NFC is also a similar technology, but it has been standardized for consumer smartphones. NFC standards are defined by a group called the NFC Forum and include large companies such as Nokia, Sony, and Philips. Whereas if your phone has the feature of NFC, then using it you can transfer data between phones and NFC readers.

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Near Field Communication Technology Overview

NFC has been developed by Sony, Nokia, and Philips, which has also combined several forum monitors and they regulate this NFC standard. Near-field communication always operates in low power and low-frequency range.

  • Frequency: 13.56 MHz
  • Range: 0 to 10 CM
  • Specification: ISO/IEC 14443 (which stands for smart cards that store information) and ISO/IEC 18000-3 (which is used in the RFID tags of smart devices)

Types of NFC-

There are mainly two types of NFC.

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1. Active NFC Device

Active NFC devices are called those devices which can also send and receive data and with this, they can also communicate with each other whether they are active devices or passive devices. Active NFC devices require a power source to work.

They have the ability to process information. For example, Smartphones are the most common form of an active NFC device. Apart from this, public transport card readers and touch payment terminals are also great examples of this technology.

2. Passive NFC Device

Passive NFC devices are called devices that can send information only to other NFC devices. They do not require any external power source for their operation. Apart from this, they also do not have the ability to process information.

They also cannot connect with other passive components. For example, they are used more in tags and other small transmitters, which are used as interactive signs on walls or in advertisements.

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How does NFC Works?

How to Add NFC to Android Phone

By now we already know what NFC is. But they do not know how it works after all. Like Bluetooth and WiFi and other wireless signals, NFC also sends its data through radio waves.

Near Field Communication is a different standard for wireless data transitions. This means that devices have to comply with certain specifications in order to communicate with each other. The technology used in NFC is derived from the older RFID (radio-frequency identification) ideas, which previously used electromagnetic induction to transmit information.

This reveals one more thing that points to the difference between NFC and Bluetooth/WiFi that NFC is used to induce electric current in passive components and to send data. This shows that the passive device does not require its own power supply to operate.

They get power when an active NFC component passes through them or comes within their range, then automatically an electromagnetic field is produced which generates power. But the sad thing is that with the help of NFC technology, there is not enough inductance that can charge your smartphones.

The transmission frequency of data in NFC technology is 13.56 megahertz. You can send data in it at a speed of 106, 212, or 424 kilobits per second. If seen, this is sufficient for small data transfers such as sending contact details, pictures, or music, or for making payments.

To determine what type of information is exchanged between two devices, the NFC standard is therefore divided into three distinct modes of operation.

  • Peer-to-peer (e.g. for file transfers)
  • Reader/writer (e.g. to read the tags on NFC posters)
  • Card emulation (e.g. for payments)

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How does NFC work in Android?

NFC transmits and receives data through radio waves. It is an established standard of wireless communication, so if any devices stick to these NFC protocols then they can easily communicate with each other.

It is slightly different in working with Bluetooth as it works through electromagnetic induction. A live example of this is that there are some passive devices, such as posters or stickers, that do not require any external power source to work and can easily transmit data to an active device such as a smartphone. That’s when it comes to their content.

As an active NFC device, a smartphone can send and receive data via NFC. It mainly works in three modes:

  • Reader/writer (e.g. to read the tags on NFC posters)
  • Card emulation (e.g. for payments)
  • Peer-to-peer (e.g. for file transfers)

How to use NFC easily?

Like Bluetooth, data transfer in NFC requires neither manual pairing nor device discovery. A connection to NFC starts automatically when another NFC device comes within the 4-inch range of another NFC device.

Once both the devices are in the same range then they start communicating with each other instantaneously and start sending prompts to the user. If seen, NFC has a lot of utility. Here below, I will tell you about some methods where NFC is used between two devices.

Digital Wallet: When you bring your smartphone close to a payment point or contactless reader (within 4 inches), your wallet or passbook asks you to confirm the payment. Once you confirm, the transaction becomes successful.

Sharing between Android Devices: When you keep two NFC-enabled devices in range, a message prompt appears in front of you asking if you want to “Beam” your contents (videos, contact information, or photos). Whether you want to do this or not to any other android device. With this, you can easily share your files.

NFC Chips: These “taps” can be programmed to perform specific tasks with the help of some apps such as Tasker when they are scanned. For example, when you put a similar chip in the desk and scan it, it works like vibrating the phone, disabling GPS, or just turning on work-related notifications, etc.

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How to know if your Android smartphone has NFC or not?

This is very simple. For this, you have to follow the instructions given on your phone.

Settings > More or Settings > Wireless & Networks

After doing this, if you see any NFC option, then it is known that Smartphones have NFC. This option is often hidden, so it is not visible. Apart from this, in almost all smartphones nowadays you can see a small NFC logo on the rear panels.

Some problems used in Android-

  • Not all devices have NFC chips, due to which there is some problem in its use, but gradually it has become very common and these features are being provided in almost all devices.
  • Often due to not having NFC chips all in one place, they rub with each other.
  • In this, cross-compatibility is not universal within devices, it occurs in some specific file types that create compatibility issues.
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About Author
An engineer and MBA, who is a technology and a gadget freak. I write about smart home solutions and gadgets like all wireless devices, technology brands like Apple. Love to follow the latest trends in the technology space and write about latest developments.