Ice Cream Sandwich takes NFC to New Heights


Google I/O kicks off, Ice Cream anyone?

So Google I/O has kicked off in a big way with some pretty major announcements and though Google Music may be a big deal to some, I am actually more intrigued by NFC or Near Field Communication. This is why I have put a lot of effort into covering the subject whenever I get a chance because I am a developer myself of sorts I have already come up with about a hundred ways this technology can change the way we use our smartphones. Of course Google has thought of a whole slew of ways of their own and early adoption of this technology in the Android platform is the biggest threat to Google's competitors right now in my humble opinion. Though I did not have the opportunity of visiting I/O and seeing these things for myself allow me to articulate the vision that Google has for NFC on the latest version of Android known as "Ice Cream Sandwhich".

Look Ma No Cords….

The utterly annoying technology that was Bluetooth will be no more when NFC is widely available (at least we can always hope.) Two devices embedded with NFC chips that come within close proximity of each other will automatically connect. There are no need to pair them or enter any codes or any of that mess. They simply connect to each other by virtue of being in the vicinity of each other with the chips on board. Cool beans huh? Though NFC in Android will be old news by the time we start seeing Ice Cream Sandwich devices Google intends to take NFC a step further than with the Gingerbread version of the technology baked into NFC compliant handsets like the Samsung Nexus S. Their calling it "0-click interaction" and what it means is simple peer-to-peer connections between smartphones. Just place the phones back to back and share stuff. Simple as that. No apps or wires required.


NFC and Gaming a match made in heaven

Speaking of apps haven't you just been dying to see how NFC might change gaming cause I sure have. Google is on it. They demoed a NFC compatible version of one of my favorites Fruit Ninja. Head to head competition just got real simple to do and I can't wait to challenge all of you to a duels. A couple other demos Google showed involved an app called "Sticky Notes" which uses NFC to share well… sticky notes, and Google Talk Portal which uses one of the nifty new features of NFC known as NFC stickers for video chat. NFC stickers are like the more developed cousin of QR codes that allow instant connection to the device linked to the sticker.

Thought it was just for payments think again

So we've covered the use of NFC to make payments quite extensively here at Androidheadlines and I haven't been very ambiguous in my assertion that this may not be something that catches on immediately but check out some of the new ways Google has up their sleeves to make us "buy" into NFC. Once we get comfortable with the technology for entertainment I think will ease into using it for payments too. Stay tuned cause we got plenty more coming from Google I/O. Later folks.