NFC on Android: What Is It and How Can You Use It?

Your Android phone likely comes equipped with a feature called “NFC,” which stands for Near Field Communication. While many people are familiar with using NFC for mobile payments like Google Pay, there’s more to this technology than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll explore what NFC is, its common uses, how to check if your Android phone has it, and some cool things you can do with programmable NFC tags.

What Is NFC Used For?

NFC stands for “Near Field Communication,” and it allows devices to communicate wirelessly over a short distance. It works by exchanging data via radio signals when devices are in close proximity or physically touching. Compared to other types of connections, NFC offers a higher level of security since it requires such close proximity.

NFC technology is commonly found in Android devices, iPhones, smartwatches, and more. Its primary use is for mobile payments, enabling services like Google Pay, where you can tap your phone or smartwatch on a terminal to make a secure payment. Additionally, NFC can be used to wirelessly transfer data between devices, although this feature is less common nowadays.

Do All Android Phones Have NFC?

While not all Android phones have NFC, it has become standard in modern smartphones. In the past, some budget phones might not have included NFC to keep costs down, but today, NFC chips have become inexpensive, making it rare to find an Android phone without NFC capability.

You can easily check if your device has NFC by going to the Settings app and searching for “NFC” to find a toggle to turn it on or off.

How to Turn On/Off NFC on Android:

To turn on NFC on your Android device, go to Settings > Connections > NFC. On some devices, you may need to navigate to Settings > Connected Devices > Connection Preferences > NFC. Once there, you can toggle the switch to enable NFC.

To turn off NFC, follow the same steps, and toggle the switch to disable it. You can also add the “NFC” button to your Quick Settings panel for easy access.

Using Programmable NFC Tags on Android:

One of the exciting features of NFC is its ability to work with programmable tags. NFC tags are small stickers or keychain accessories that can trigger specific actions when you tap your phone on them. These tags do not require batteries or any power source. You can use apps like “NFC Tools” to program these tags.

The app offers various functions that can be assigned to an NFC tag, such as launching a URL, sharing contact information, connecting to a Wi-Fi network, and more. To program an NFC tag, open the app, select “Add a Record” from the “Write” tab, choose the desired function, enter the necessary details, and then tap your phone on the blank NFC tag.


NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a versatile technology found in Android devices, iPhones, and smartwatches. While commonly associated with mobile payments like Google Pay, NFC offers more functionalities, such as wireless data transfer and programmable NFC tags. By enabling NFC on your Android phone, you can unlock a world of convenient and innovative possibilities. Give it a try and explore the full potential of this remarkable technology!

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