Is there any default support on Android basic apps (phone, browser, contacts...) for NFC?

Because if I want to develop for NFC, the user will need to install my NFC app. But for simple tasks that use default apps like phone, is there any default support? For example if I want to make a NFC tag to call my phone number. Or would I need to create an app even for this?

  • I think it is OEM-oriented, and each phone maker has its own developed apps in phones. My Xperia S has some apps and capabilities built-in for NFC. for example I can set a NFC tag to launch my browser or call a number, which all of these are done by an app that Sony has built into its ROM. – yrajabi Sep 4 '12 at 11:33

Essentially the individual apps don't need to have any understanding of NFC at all, they just respond to one of their standard intents that's been pushed to them by Android's central NFC Service. By default, that NFC Service handles reading the NFC tag and triggering the relevant intent to pass info on to another app on the device, like the Dialler.

One very easy way to play around with triggering actions by NFC is using Microsoft's ON{X} app (yes, bizarrely this is a Microsoft app that's only available on Android). As long as you've already got the hardware support, this lets you trigger a whole lot of actions with an NFC tag, with an absolutely minimal amount of simple scripting. See their recent blog entry on NFC for some of what you can do.

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Since the introduction of NFC in Android 2.3 Gingerbread there has been some basic support for NFC included, such as opening the browser when scanning an NFC tag with an http:// URL, opening the phone app with an tel: URI, messaging with an SMS: URI, email with an mailto: URI, adding a contact with a vCard tag, etc.

Since Android 4.0 ICS, some standard apps and many Google apps have been extended with the function to share data via Android Beam, too. E.g. the current browser URL, a displayed contact, the clip URL in the Youtube app, displayed location in Maps, etc. By default also non-NFC apps share their Play Store URL via Android Beam.

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