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Full NFC Capabilities Arrive with Gingerbread Update 2.3.3

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Last year we shared with you that several of the new Android phones coming out in 2011 would come with Near Field Communication chips, and that Gingerbread/Android 2.3 would eventually help facilitate their usage. The NFC chips will offer a wide variety of applications by allowing two NFC enabled devices to 'talk' to each other and share information when near each other. The prime example was a 'digital' credit card built-in to your phone for retail transactions handled more easily electronically.

    Unfortunately, at that time, Gingerbread could not handle all of the functionality that is required to really take advantage of NFC tech. Google announced today in their developers blog, that the newest Gingerbread update, 2.3.3 will soon be released, and it opens up the remaining features of the NFC chip allowing it to eventually reach its full potential. Soon we will be able to start using our Android phones as our 'digital wallet' once more retail stores start adopting the technology.

    To be clear, the NFC enhancements weren't the only improvements made to Gingerbread. Google also improved Bluetooth, Graphics, Speech Recognition, and Media APIs. Of course, the only phone that sports the NFC chip in the retail channel at the moment is the Nexus S, but again, many of the newer phones coming out later this year will have the chip on board. For more info, here's a link to the full 2.3.3 Android SDK.

    Source: Android.net via Android Developers Blog
  2. geoff5093
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    geoff5093 New Member

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    I love how Google keeps updating Android, yet all but a few Android phones are actually receiving them. This is one thing Google needs to learn from Apple on, giving EVERYONE the update at the same time.
  3. geoff5093
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    geoff5093 New Member

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    ^^ I meant aren't receiving them.
  4. author
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    author New Member

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    Yep, we know what ya mean, Geoff ... those of us waiting for Gingerbread on the Droid 2.

    --Ralph
  5. huskerkate
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    huskerkate Premium Member Premium Member

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    i'll admit it - i've got a cold and don't feel like searching around, but: what phones do/don't have the NFC chip??
  6. SquireSCA
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    SquireSCA Well-Known Member

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    Won't this just make a whole new avenue to hack your phone, but in a bad way? If you walk by other phones and they can share information, could that not be used as an avenue for attack?

    And the NFC works both ways. This can also be used to track where you are and where you go with your phone, if sensors are put everywhere without your knowledge.

    Not that far-fetched really. I mean, they can track individual phones by cell tower triangulation and GPS, but if I just put a proximity reader in my doorway, I can track every single phone that walks in or out of that door without anyone knowing, and with very little effort or expense.
  7. SquireSCA
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    SquireSCA Well-Known Member

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    And before anyone claims conspiracy theory, look at EZ Pass technology for toll roads. Supposed to be to make things easier for us, but in reality, the technology has been used to generate speeding tickets, as they can tell when you entered and when you left the road, and whether your average speed from Point A to Point B exceeding the speed limit... Or some cases where a wife was able to subpoena the EZ Pass records and show that her Husband had been on the road at certain times, what exit he got off of, etc...

    This technology always seems to start out in one direction, until someone realizes that they can use it for their own other purposes... Just sayin...
  8. New2u
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    New2u Super Moderator

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    I can assure you that there are agencies that have capabilities far beyond that, so i'm not worried if they know where i'm at.
  9. author
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    author New Member

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    Not to mention entire alien civilizations taking notes on every single thing you do and snickering.

    There is no such thing as privacy.

    --Ralph
  10. SquireSCA
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    SquireSCA Well-Known Member

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    I understand that, but I don't really feel like using my phone as a credit card, nor do I want it trying to communicate with every phone I walk by on the street...

    I know that I don't have much privacy, but I still don't walk around with a billboard on my back with my personal info. I feel that I should at least make them work for it. ;-)
  11. New2u
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    New2u Super Moderator

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    It's not going to try to communicate with every phone it passes by. If you don't want to use it as a credit card, then don't. They aren't forcing you to use this, they are merely saying, hey it's here if you want it, the same way you claim EZ pass can get you a traffic ticket, you don't have to use EZ pass at all.
  12. author
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    author New Member

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    ummm... basically, New2U, you have it right .... Resistance IS futile ... still, I likes to make them break a little sweat to get my personal info. The aliens, at least.

    --Ralph
  13. aRsTwiX
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    aRsTwiX New Member

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    I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. NFC is touch. Like Google's new sticker thing. You have to touch the sticker with your scanner in order for it to read. It's just like when you scan your card for payments. The scanner uses NFC technology. If you pay using a NFC Vending Machine you have to put your phone up to the vending machine.

    It will make your phone a big security risk because it will have all your data from everything you've scanned on it.
  14. illmatic636
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    illmatic636 New Member

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    That will only be for phones with the NFC chip in it. Our phones....... nO Go for OG droid on that!
  15. microsnook
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    microsnook New Member

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    I agree with some of the other posts. Our phones lack the updates when they get made!
    It seems only the newest google phones are the ones getting updated to the latest software.
  16. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    I am a little hesitant to jump on this bandwagon. I assume there are safeguards (like turning it on and off only when you need to use it), but other devices in the same vicinity capable of stealing my info is a concern.

    On the other hand, as a business traveler I like the potential for apps that would let me select an option and attach the receipt to the proper expense report, or auto-categorize.

    And for budgeting purposes, if you started using this regularly you get all kinds of info on type, time and frequency of transactions. "holy cow, I spend $100 on beer every month"
  17. bazar6
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    bazar6 Premium Member Theme Developer Premium Member

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    And I'm sure they'll have a button (on screen, not physical) to turn off power to the chip, like they have for the wifi, bluetooth, GPS, etc. At least if they don't, I'm sure a dev will make a widget/app to do that in no time.
  18. DarkJeckyll
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    DarkJeckyll New Member

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    2.3.3??? Wheres my 2.3 for my X jeeez lol
  19. tcayton49
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    tcayton49 New Member

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    There are RFID readers that can get the information from the credit cards/drivers license/passport, etc in your wallet/purse from several feet away. If this does have an on/off switch(which i'm sure it will) it could actually be more secure than having physical credit cards.
  20. aRsTwiX
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    aRsTwiX New Member

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    I think some are a little confused by what NFC is. NFC tags can only be read from a maximum of 2 inches. A device isn't going to steal your information by walking past it. Someone would have to touch a NFC reader within 2 inches of the back of your phone which would be a little... creepy if someone did that to you in public.

    Though phone security will still be an issue, it's not THAT big of an issue. Just don't lose your phone or leave it somewhere.

    If you're still paranoid, there is an option in your settings (same place as Wi-fi and bluetooth) to enable/disable NFC.

    Hope this helped some of you guys. :]
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