It looks like the Near Field Communications revolution is finally getting underway. After over a year of NFC chips being available in several different models of Android devices, major third-party developers are finally starting to incorporate the technology into their apps. Scanning tags is fun and all, but using NFC to share information in popular apps between devices is where NFC really shines. An update to the Foursquare app allows you to do just that.
By using Android Beam, Google’s fancy name for peer-to-peer NFC communications, Foursquare users can now bump phones and transfer information like lists and places visited, along with initiating friend requests and checking in wherever NFC tags have been made available. Venues can now use NFC enabled tags, posters or other similar media that when tapped with an NFC equipped device running Android 4.0, will automatically prompt users to check in.
Foursquare’s Vice President of Mobile International Holger Luedorf recently sat down with Untether.tv and shared his feelings on NFC, and tools provided to Android developers to utilize the technology.
The user experience is great. You just hold your phone against the tap (point). The check-in screen automatically pops up with the right venue. You’re basically shaving very valuable seconds off the check-in process. We try to leverage the native experiences and APIs that are available through the platform as those usually drive the best user experience. We’re trying to leverage this because we feel that pinpointing someone down to a location through an NFC chip definitely has some value.Holger LuedorfFoursquare
Luedorf also mentioned that going forward, Android won’t be the only platform using NFC. When that day comes, the adoption rate for NFC should shoot through the roof.
If you have an Android 4.0 device with NFC (either a Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S), you can try Foursquare’s NFC features with the latest version of the app available in the Android Market.