8 Methods How To Enable Smartphone To Read NFC Tags?

Ever stumbled upon a tiny, shiny sticker or a small card that seemingly does nothing? Well, believe me, it’s more than meets the eye. This little fella – termed an NFC (Near Field Communication) tag – holds the potential to simplify our daily tasks significantly, provided we know how to engage with it. Let me share some tricks and techniques I have been tinkering with, to empower our smartphones to interact with these ‘invisible’ powerhouses.

1. Make sure your phone is NFC-enabled

Before anything else, we need to ascertain whether our smartphone is NFC-enabled. The method varies depending on the smartphone’s operating system.

For Android users: Go to ‘Settings,’ navigate towards ‘Connected devices’ and tap on ‘Connection preferences.’ Here, if you find the ‘NFC’ option, it means your device is NFC-enabled.

For iPhone users: iPhone models from iPhone 6 and onwards are NFC-enabled. To double-check, go to ‘Settings’ and scroll to find ‘Wallet & Apple Pay.’ If you see the ‘Express Transit Card’ option, it’s a confirmation of your phone’s NFC capabilities.

If your phone doesn’t have built-in NFC, you can consider NFC adapters.

Make sure your phone is NFC-enabled

2. Switch on NFC on your device

Now that we’ve confirmed our phone is NFC-capable, let’s activate this feature.

Android: Follow the same route to ‘Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences,’ and toggle the switch next to ‘NFC’ to turn it on.

iPhone: Apple’s approach is slightly different. iPhones automatically enable NFC when you use an NFC-compatible app or feature.

Switch on NFC on your device

3. Get acquainted with an NFC Reader App

There are numerous NFC reader apps available. Each of them comes with its own set of functionalities, but my favorites are ‘NFC Tools’ and ‘NFC TagWriter’ by NXP. Both apps offer a clean interface and perform efficiently.

Download and install the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Once installed, familiarize yourself with the interface. Most apps come with a simple UI where a scan button is prominently displayed.

Get acquainted with an NFC Reader App

4. Scan the NFC tag

The fun begins! Bring the back of your phone (the NFC chip is usually located here) close to the NFC tag. Tap on the scan/read button in your NFC app. It’ll pull the information from the tag in no time.

Scan the NFC tag

5. Interpret the NFC tag

Now, your NFC reader app deciphers the code embedded in the NFC tag. It could direct you to a website, display a text, or call a number. Depending on the complexity of the tag, it could even automate a sequence of actions on your phone.

Interpret the NFC tag

6. Go the extra mile with Task Automation

Many NFC apps, like ‘NFC Tools,’ let you encode NFC tags with a specific set of tasks. These could range from simple actions (opening a website) to a chain of commands (switching Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and setting an alarm). Explore the ‘Write’ or ‘Program’ section in your app to set this up. Remember, the possibilities are only limited by your creativity.

Go the extra mile with Task Automation

7. Secure your NFC tags

If you wish to prevent your programmed NFC tags from being overwritten, you can ‘lock’ them. This option is generally found under the ‘Write’ or ‘Program’ section of your app. Note that this action is irreversible – once you lock a tag, it cannot be rewritten. So, tread carefully!

Secure your NFC tags

8. Keep exploring

Finally, remember that NFC technology isn’t limited to tags. Contactless payments, device pairing, file sharing – all use NFC. To stay updated, consider following blogs and forums dedicated to NFC tech.

By now, I hope you’re equipped to interact with NFC tags like a pro. As you venture into this exciting technology, remember to explore, experiment, and most importantly, enjoy the process!

Keep exploring

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of WinFixo.com. I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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