TagCom is an Android app that makes great use of NFC tags; small pieces of plastic that can be touched to an Android device from the last three years or so to transmit a little bit of data. The idea with TagCom is that you can program an NFC tag with your contact information and then just pass over an NFC tag to quickly pass along your name, organisation and phone number or email address with little to no hassle. More than that however, you can load a tag up with location data to help people find their way or a website to promote your brand. It's a smart idea, and as this is one of the few Android apps that uses NFC tags with a simple, easy-to-use and appealing Material Design, TagCom has a lot on offer. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
First of all, you'll need to make sure that you have compatible NFC tags. You can easily buy some from here. For those in the know, TagCom was tested with Topaz 512 NFC chips with 450 bytes of memory, but it will also work with NTAG216 NFC chips. Next, you'll need to download TagCom from the Play Store. Once you have done, you can get started.
You can create a new tag from pulling the menu out from the left and choosing the type of tag you want to make. There are two different type of tags here, a Com tag and an instant tag. A Com tag is used to carry all of your contact information like so:
The Instant tags are for performing actions and hold a little less information. Each tag holds your name, job title and organisation. Then each type of tag – i.e. the Email or Location tag – carries that little extra. So, for the location tag you would have your name and such included as well as the location of your business or home address for people to scan via your tag. In either of the Com tag or Instant tags, you do not have to fill in every field, if you leave them blank, they simply disappear in the final tag.
I chose to make a phone tag, as I prefer to talk to people on the phone than email – I get enough of that as it is. All you do next is fill in the fields to write to your tag. Right away, I was impressed by how good-looking TagCom is, and it's certainly one of the best-looking NFC apps on the Play Store.
If you wanted to, you can even lock the NFC tag by pressing the golden padlock in the corner before writing the info to your new tag. This will prevent you from changing information on the tag, but also keep it secure. That's it really, it's super-simple an app to use, and once you've set up your new tag you could attach it to your keys or keep in your wallet or whatever.
Sadly for me, the NFC tags I had from a couple of years ago didn't work, which was a little disappointing, but if you want to get ones that you know work you can get a link to them inside TagCom's app.
TagCom is just what NFC needs right now. With manufacturers like OnePlus foolishly not including the tech in their new phone, it's clear that demand for NFC isn't that high. However, with apps like TagCom that are genuinely useful, easy on the eye and easy to setup, more people would switch on to the uses that NFC tags hold for users and even business. TagCom presents itself as a sort of digital business card, but it can be used for whatever you want, really. A phone tag – which quickly offers up contact info once your phone is unlocked – could be a quick way of calling for your car from a parking attendant, or for those with health problems that might need a physician quickly. The location tag could be a good way of quickly starting Google Maps Navigation to get you back to a new workplace and if you're looking to promote your brand, a website tag could be given away at events or kept on your lanyard to pass on info quickly. An instant tag with a phone number could be left hanging on your door in a college dorm so people can call you right away if you're not in, you could leave one of these secured to your store when out on a delivery or something like that, the uses are endless. A modern approach that those looking for a reason to use NFC tags will really like, there are endless uses for something like this.
- Speed (4/5) – Everything loads nice and quickly with TagCom and writing to an NFC tag is simple as well.
- Features (5/5) – It's so easy to get setup, and it's got a modern and fresh theme that many will just love, this does everything you could need it to and is infinitely useful.
- Theme (5/5) – One of the reasons NFC tag apps don't take off is because they're ugly. TagCom is anything but ugly and is actually quite attractive with its Material Design and easy-to-use UI.
- Overall (5/5) – This is just what NFC needs, a simple and easy-to-use application that has genuine real world applications and that actually looks good.
- Makes it easy to purchase NFC tags from a reputable source if you don't already have some.
- Is super-easy to get setup and working, and easy to delete and reuse tags as well.
- Offers up a way to get more out of NFC tags than just simple URL or application sharing.
- Has infinite uses for not only passing on information, but also helping people get to where they need to go, to call you when you're not in and so on.
- More features like sharing a cloud storage URL with collaborators or something would be nice.
- Option to save a tag "preset" to quickly create multiple tags would be helpful for promoters.
TagCom is a pretty great way of making good use of NFC tags, whether it be for personal or business use. I think those sharing information regularly will really enjoy how this streamlines the whole process, and I wish that my own NFC tags would have worked, but they were much older. Still, if you have a decent set of NFC tags from not too long ago, then you should be all set.