Google is releasing an Android OS 2.3.3 update to the Samsung Nexus S, and with it comes a special new feature: near field communications. A still-emerging technology, NFC is expected to make it easier for phones to send and receive short-range transmissions.
Near field communications, or NFC, allows for the transfer of data to and from your smartphone through contact-less, proximity-based communication; holding an NFC-enabled smartphone up to an NFC tag or another phone with an active NFC chip allows for an exchange of data between the two devices.
For instance, a movie poster may have a small NFC chip inside of it, allowing someone to hold their phone up to it and instantly have a trailer for the movie start streaming onto your handset.
Enhancements for the Nexus S
With this technology, which is enabled in Android OS 2.3.3, a whole new series of apps will be available to Samsung Nexus S users.
With the new Android update, the Nexus S will now possess an NFC reader/writer API, allowing apps to "read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today," according to the Android developers blog.
The update also allows for "Advanced Intent" dispatching, meaning that apps can control how and when they are launched in the event that an NFC tag comes into proximity; unintentionally having a phone too close to an active NFC tag won't just immediately set off applications without warning.
Android OS 2.3.3 Going Out Now
The Android OS 2.3.3 update is currently being sent out over the air, but according to Google, it may take a few weeks for it to reach all Nexus S users.
The update is also going out to the Google Nexus One, but since this older model doesn't have the proper hardware to utilize NFC, these types of applications will not be usable on the device.
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