During the “How to NFC” session at Google I/O yesterday, Android engineers showed a preview of “0-click sharing” — a new feature coming in Ice Cream Sandwich. The feature allows two phones to exchange information — contacts, web pages, apps — just by putting them close to each other.
As you can see in the video below, this peer-to-peer NFC sharing doesn’t require any other action from the user other than tapping a phone to another one — hence the name 0-click sharing. Want to share that cool app you are obsessed about? Just tap your phone with your friend’s, and you’re done. If your friend doesn’t have the game installed, the Market app will automatically pop up letting him buy/download it. Obviously, this feature will be very popular among developers.
In another instance, the Android engineer shows how this feature will also work between phones and tablets. In this case, he’s watching a video on his phone but wants to keep watching it on the tablet. A tap later, he’s watching the same video on the tablet, right from where you left off on the phone. It’s magic, I tell you!
Google will provide APIs in Ice Cream Sandwich that can access this functionality, allowing developers to build it inside their own apps. Right off the bat, you can think of a few apps that could advantage of 0-click sharing. You could friend someone on Facebook just by tapping your two phones together, or follow someone on Twitter for that matter. You could share a favorite book with a friend, using Google Books or the Kindle app. The possibilities are endless.
With this feature coming in Ice Cream Sandwich, you get the idea that Google is now moving beyond just fixing what’s broken. At this point, the platform is so mature that not many things need to be fixed right away. Google is now focused on bringing new, innovative and crazy ideas to Android. In other words, doing what they do best. At the keynote yesterday, Hugo Barra said that Ice Cream Sandwich will be the most ambitious version yet. I believe it’ll also be the most surprising, breathtaking, and groundbreaking so far.
If this is just one little sneak peek at what’s coming in Ice Cream Sandwich, get ready to have your mind blown this Holiday season. What other crazy features do you guys want Google to bring in Ice Cream Sandwich?
Skip to 13:50, for the juicy part.