Android Beam makes NFC for more than paying for things

So we're all still fresh from seeing Ice Cream Sandwich in all it's glory, but one of the cool new features unveiled during the presentation was Android Beam. 

Taking advantage of the in built NFC chip on the Galaxy Nexus, Android Beam makes it possible to share various kinds of data with another enabled device. The presentation showed loading a webpage on one device, and sending it via Android Beam to another. 

The feature also works with sharing Google Maps information, YouTube videos, contact information, and applications right out of the box. The example, Minecraft being played on one device, beamed to the other and up came the Market link for Minecraft. 

The API is going to be opened up to developers to take advantage of in their own applications too. While a pretty limited market initially, it seems clear that Google intends to get fully behind NFC technology. 

Richard Devine
  • annnd, there goes my Bump app. I guess now I see what all the big fuss over NFC is about. Pretty neat, look forward to seeing what else people can do with it.
  • Lol, reminds me of infra-red beaming things back in the days of Windows Mobile.
  • This feature is really cool. I wonder why the Samsung epic touch 4g, only variant of the sgs2's that I know of did not receive NFC -__- . Coincidentally was the only sgs2 variant I could get my hands on, being a Sprint customer. Looking forward to Android 4.0 tho!
  • Now I've a big amateur doubt. Will the beam work only with data connection or WiFi ?or is it like bluetooth which depends on device?
  • I used to beam stuff from my Palm Treo to my buddies Treos. We'd line up our Treos carefully and wait for a dicey connection. This seems easier, but just for small amounts of data. You can't send vids and music can you? Just links and contact info I think.
  • They've mentioned beam can be used to invisibly setup a BT pairing or a device-to-device wifi connection and transfer it that way. Maybe ICS will look at filesize and use one of those methods for bigger files.
  • Now the only thing Im worried abouts is what phones will receieve the ics update! Hopefully the nexus s 4g is one of them because me and the Big Red, dont get along!
  • Looks alright I guess.
  • i'm naming my device 'Scotty' in the Beam settings. though i hope it's set to that by default.