GOOGLE'S OPEN SOURCE Android OS version 2.3.3 has been given a tweak that includes support for Near Field Communications (NFC).
Google has been faffing about with the hip new smartphone technology NFC for a while. Its Nexus S smartphone had limited read only support when the software giant was bidding to woo games developers. The company even added some NFC features in the 2.3 Gingerbread flavour of Android released a few weeks ago. These were limited APIs, but the smartphone OS developer has added the full feature set in its updated Android 2.3.3 release.
"NFC is an emerging technology that promises exciting new ways to use mobile devices, including ticketing, advertising, ratings, and even data exchange with other devices," blogged Android SDK tech Lead Xavier Ducrohet.
Google reckons developers will be leading the charge to integrate NFC support into their apps and released the SDK update yesterday.
The latest Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread release includes a NFC reader/writer API. This lets apps read and write to most NFC tags. That means you can wirelessly pay for stuff by waving your smartphone in the general direction of a NFC-enabled kiosk.
Advanced Intent dispatching apparently gives more control over how Android apps process NFC tags. Android 2.3.3 also has what Google is calling "limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices".
That means punters with NFC-enabled smartphones can share music, photos, and personal data by a simply beaming it directly to each others' phones. µ
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