Android Central

Android has supported NFC (near-field communication) technology since Gingerbread, and Android Beam has enabled easy URL, app and contact sharing since ICS launched last year. But our friends in the Windows Phone world are just now getting their first introduction to NFC in the latest windows Phone 8 release.

In addition to a new NFC-enabled wallet, WP8 includes "tap + send" support, which enables Android Beam-like functionality between NFC-enabled Windows phones. But because it's a multi-platform standard, many of these features work just fine between Windows Phone 8 and Android, as you'll see in our demo video below.

We tried bouncing web pages and contacts back and forth between a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and an HTC 8X, and were able to do so without a hint of trouble. Unfortunately, NFC file transfers remain off-limits for the time being, so if you want to share photos over NFC, it's strictly Windows-to-Windows or Android-to-Android.

Check out our quick video demo below to learn more.

More: Windows Phone 8 launch coverage at WPCentral

There are 19 comments

tx_tuff says:

That is pretty freaking cool! This explains why Apple stayed away from NFC, no way in hell do they want a Android sending info to their iPhone LOL.

coraphise says:

They also realize Apple users wouldn't let their precious iWhatever anywhere NEAR another non-Apple device. It's technology segregation! :3

vinny jr says:

Apple is 2 years behind most platforms as far as innovation is concerned, they simply just don't understand NFC and really who gives a fuc-?

Shadowriver says:

Hohoho they understand of NFC very well and it's part of there plan ;] why do you think they bother with ticket app just for optical smartness? NFC might be next reason to upgrade your iPhone.

GrillMouster says:

What a shame, because pictures and videos are what I would most likely be interested in "beaming" to another user.

ercliou says:

Awesome! Standards are always awesome!

pseudoelf says:

Baby steps. Since sending large files needs higher bandwidth than NFC has, we will need to wait for everybody to agree on a wifi direct or Bluetooth connection protocol across platforms and that will take a while longer. But I'm crossing my fingers for it all the same.

ercliou says:

Oh.. I thought Android Beam uses NFC only for photo transfers

ercliou says:

Can you guys explain better why larger files is not supported? Do they use different protocols for that?

bdk21 says:

NFC initiates the transfer but bluetooth does the actual file transfer for large files.

briankurtz79 says:

Nfc is only capable of transferring small bits of information. Like urls. The galaxy s3 uses s beam which is android beam but with a wifi direct link. Nfc sets up the transfer but wifi moves files. This is the only way to move large files like videos. Even bluetooth is to slow for anything more than one picture.

ahh, I was trying to beam a photo from my Gnex to a family members GS3. Didnt work though.

So how would one go about doing that, or is it possible?

ymshulman says:

I believe you will have to wait until the GS3 is updated to Jelly Bean. With ICS, photo transfers were not supported at all, and Samsung put in their wifi direct. I'm not sure why google didn't do something similar, and why they chose bluetooth instead, but whatever the case, a GS3 on Jelly Bean be able to use either type. I've never tested it myself, though.

BaMaDuDe87 says:

Nice I just wish we could send files across the Android platform to different OS versions. Ex. My Gnex running JB wont play nice with the gf's S3 on ICS sending anything.

S3 uses s beam which uses wifi direct while the rest of androids use android beam which uses Bluetooth (s beam is faster because wifi direct is faster than Bluetooth ) you hav to specifically turn on the android beam in the s3 to be able to send

BaMaDuDe87 says:

Interesting, I'll check it out when I get home.


Shadowriver says:

Wifi direct is fast as your Wifi on your phone

I wonder if Samsung will institute S beam between their Windows 8 and Android phones hmmm.

Dextereous says:

Check for cross-platform sharing "NfcSharing2Win" on google play, thats awesome app for me for now