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How to program an NFC tag with your Android device

Programming an NFC tag from your NFC-capable Android device is extremely easy and can lend itself to some very useful scenarios.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

It's starting to look like NFC tags are going to be all the rage soon.

Between Sony and rumors of Apple working with MasterCard, NFC is going to go mainstream. So why wait? If you already have an NFC-capable device, you can start using NFC around your home or office, and have fun with it while you're at it.

To program an NFC tag, you will need an Android device with NFC capabilities. You will also need some NFC tags, which appear to be nothing more than a sticker on the outside, as well as an app that allows you to write to the tags.

I bought some tags from a vendor on Amazon, where you can find plenty of tags for a reasonable price. Make sure you buy preformatted tags; doing so will ensure you avoid any issues with formatting. As for the Android app, I'm using NFC Task Launcher. You can find it in the Android Market for $1.99.

Make sure to watch the above video to see a quick demo of creating a tag that toggles your device's Wi-Fi state. This would come in handy if the tag was placed next to your front door, or wherever you normally sat down your phone as you get home from work. Tapping the tag would then turn on your device's Wi-Fi, allowing it to connect to your home network. Similarly, you could then tap your device on the same tag as you are leaving the house to turn Wi-Fi off.

There is much, much more that can be done with NFC tags and your device. This is just scratching the surface. Over the coming days and weeks I will go through some creative uses, as well as just some extremely handy uses of NFC and NFC tags. If you have an idea, or are currently using a setup similar to this, feel free to share in the comments below!