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Android Beam and NFC on Your Android Phone

Quite a few Android phones feature an NFC radio, where NFC stands for Near Field Communications. NFC allows the phone to communicate with other NFC devices, which allows for the quick transfer of information. The technology is called Android Beam.

Turning on NFC

You can’t play with the Android Beam feature unless the phone’s NFC radio has been activated. To confirm that it has been activated, or to activate it, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose the More command, which is found below the Wireless & Networks heading.

  3. Ensure that a check mark appears by the NFC item.

    If it doesn’t, touch the box to add a check mark.

With NFC activated, you can use your phone to communicate with other NFC devices. These devices include other Android phones, Android tablets, as well as payment systems for various merchants.

To disable NFC, repeat these steps, but in Step 3 remove the check mark.

Using Android Beam

The Android Beam feature works when you touch your phone to another NFC device, such as another Android phone or tablet. As long as the two devices have an NFC radio and the Android Beam feature is active, they can share information.

You can beam contacts, map locations, web pages, YouTube videos, and lots of other things. Generally speaking, if the app features the Share icon, you can probably use Android Beam and other content by simply touching the two gizmos.

When two Android Beam devices touch — usually back-to-back — a prompt appears on the screen: Touch to Beam. Touch the screen, and the item you’re viewing is immediately sent to the other device. That’s pretty much it.

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