What is NFC (Near Field Communication)? You’ve heard of it but you do not know what it is, and here we want to explain its use on Android devices. NFC how does it work and what is it for? It is an interesting and useful feature for smartphones, introduced only a few years ago.

This function allows the transmission of data (photos, videos, documents, web pages, link app, contacts, …) between two devices provided that both devices have NFC enabled. Although this feature has been under development for so many years, now NFC has affected, since 2012, the Android market.

The reason why NFC is more reliable than Bluetooth and WiFi is the faster transfer of information and data. As the full name says, NFC can only work when two compatible devices are close enough. This means that the NFC function has a shorter transmission range than Bluetooth and WiFi. Furthermore, it is important to know that there are two types of NFC devices: active devices and passive devices.

Passive NFC devices are generally small tags and other transmitters. The purpose of these tags is to send information to the NFC device (which must be of active type) and act only as a source. An example of a passive device can be a tag that sends the command to the smartphone to turn the WiFi on or off. These tags do not require any power source and can easily be customized to work with any NFC compatible device. Some good Android apps for tag customization are Trigger and NFC Tools. It is noteworthy that passive devices cannot communicate with each other.

Active NFC devices are those that enjoy greater functions. These devices are able to send and receive data (peer-to-peer connection). Active devices can communicate with each other. This feature has led to the birth and development of Android Pay, and some examples of active NFC devices are smartphones, card readers for public transport or touch terminals for payment.

Requirements for using NFC Android

  • An Android device with a built-in NFC
  • Another Android device (which has incorporated NFC) to transfer data with the previous device.

Note: Instead of another device, a passive NFC device (tag) can also be used. In this guide, I’ll show you how to use NFC with both types of devices.

NFC what it is and how it works with active NFC devices

  1. On your smartphone go to Settings »More.
  2. Click on the NFC option to activate it (Android Beam is activated automatically).


3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with both devices to activate NFC.
4. Make sure you are in the main screen of the smartphone that must receive the files.
5. Then, open the content you want to share on the sending device.
6. After that, bring both devices close together.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

7. A new screen at the top of the screen will appear on the sending device. This means that the NFC device has been recognized.
8. Tap the thumbnail on the sending device and the file will be sent to the recipient.
9. A notification will be shown on the display.
10. Now, you can access the file on the other device.

That’s all. As you see, using NFC is very simple. It can work with all active devices, including Android payment terminals. Just simply bring the phone close enough, touch the display and the money will be transferred.

NFC how it works with passive devices

Note: In this section of the guide I will explain how to use an active NFC device (smartphone) with a passive device (tag). Any passive device can be used. For easy understanding, let’s say that this tag turns on WiFi when a smartphone is approached.

Current status – WiFi Off (Before touching the tag).

  • Go to Settings »Other.
  • Click on the NFC option to activate it (Android Beam is activated automatically).
  • Tap the device with the tag.
  • A successful transfer notification will be displayed.
  • Current status – WiFi ON (after touching the tag).

I know, it was easier to do than to say. Try this new feature and if you come across any NFC related problems we will try to help you.

NFC is a good feature. It is better than Bluetooth and WiFi for data transmission. Using NFC for payments is also safe and offers great experience in everyday life, making payments and file transfers easier.


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