Google is putting significant effort into giving developers the NFC support they need to integrate it into their apps and further into our daily lives with their release announcement of the Android 2.3.3 SDK update with increased NFC technology.
The new NFC abilities Google in Android 2.3.3 include the following and are taken from the Android Developers post:
- A comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today.
- Advanced Intent dispatching that gives apps more control over how/when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range.
- Some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.
The “limited support for peer-to-peer connection” is likely connected to Stanford’s recently announced work regarding social uses for NFC, which I covered back in late January, although we’ll have to wait a bit to see exactly what changes Google has implemented, and if they are beneficial to the work the Stanford team is doing.
The Nexus S was originally launched with an NFC chip that was only able to read NFC chips, but designed with the intent to receive an update later enabling both read and write functionality, and Android 2.3.3 appears to be the update designed to do that.
I would imagine that the Nexus S will be the first phone to get the update, and Google also mentions their belief that most future phones shipping with Android Gingerbread will run Android 2.3.3, which indicates that google has a strong belief manufacturers will integrate NFC technology into an increasing amount of handsets.
The Android 2.3.3 version notes are available here if you want an overiview of the API changes and for you developers, the Android 2.3.3 SDK platform is already available via the Android SDK Manager.