Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread is the latest officially released platform that was rolled out a couple of weeks ago to the Google Nexus S and Nexus One. The biggest feature upgrade is that video chat is now available on Google Talk for all those whose devices with a front-facing camera. This new update is a maintenance release that adds several bug fixes and patches to the Android 2.3 platform and it does not increment the API level, it uses the same API level 10 as 2.3.3
Since the source code for 2.3.4 has already been pushed to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), we’ve been analyzing it and we found the some changes in the NFC Java Classes, mainly in card emulation features: Read MoreGustavo D. Gonzalez
One of the new features in the Android framework API 2.3.3 is the improved support for NFC to interact with tags in a more friendly way. This changes include a new tag dispatch process, so, probably your NFC applications written for previous api levels now will fail. This is because these older versions used a single-step intent dispatch to notify interested applications that a tag was discovered. From 2.3.3 version (Api level 10), the platform uses a four-step process that enables the foreground application to take control of a tag event before it is passed to any other applications. This new process is designed to dispatch a tag to the correct activity without showing to the user the activity chooser dialog. Read MoreGustavo D. Gonzalez
As you may know, Google is pushing in the coming days an OTA update that adds read and write public APIs for the NFC chip. Well today, NXP launched NFC Tagwriter, a free app for Android 2.3.3 using those features. This app allows to store contacts, URLs and text messages on any NFC tag
It only installs on devices with at least 2.3.3 version and NFC. Check it out https://market.android.com/details?id=com.nxp.nfc.tagwriter
Gustavo D. Gonzalez
Well, there are good news: Google announced an update to Android 2.3 that adds new NFC capabilities for developers. This update is a small feature release but finally adds read and write APIs for the near field communications chip. Other updates include new APIs for Bluetooth, graphics, media framework, and speech recognition. The new version is available as a downloadable component for the Android SDK.
Now, the plataform provides a new set of APIs supporting a wider range of standard tags, including:
- NFC-A (ISO 14443-3A)
- NFC-B (ISO 14443-3B)
- NFC-F (JIS 6319-4)
- NFC-V (ISO 15693)
- ISO-DEP (ISO 14443-4)
- Mifare Classic
- Mifare Ultralight
- NFC Forum NDEF tags
This release also provides a limited peer-to-peer communication protocol and API. As they say “advanced tag dispatching now gives applications more control over how and when they are launched, when an NFC tag is discovered. Previously, the platform used a single-step intent dispatch to notify interested applications that a tag was discovered. The platform now uses a four-step process that enables the foreground application to take control of a tag event before it is passed to any other applications (android.nfc.NfcAdapter.enableForegroundDispatch()). The new dispatch process also lets apps listen for specific tag content and tag technologies, based on two new intent actions — android.nfc.action.NDEF_DISCOVERED and android.nfc.action.TECH_DISCOVERED”.
We are going to test this new functionality, will be sharing our views about it and posting some new examples.
As said by Google CEO Eric Schmidt two month ago, the operating system Android 2.3 includes support for near field communication. But, at least in terms of the API and the sample code they supply, this version only includes tag reading capability. However, the PN544 NFC chip inside the Nexus S supports read and write operations so, at the hardware level, all the functionality you need to support a full range of NFC services is in the handset. At the software level, there will be updates to the SDK rolled out on a phased basis that will enable developers to write NFC applications for mobile payments, p2p and other applications on Android Gingerbread devices. Read MoreGustavo D. Gonzalez
At Gibraltar SF we’ve been investigating NFC technology for the last couple of years, basically focusing in use cases, software / hardware implementation and security aspects. One of the main problems we had was the lack of commercial mobile phones with NFC capabilities. So, we’ve been programing NFC using the Series 40 Nokia 6212 NFC SDK simulator with external tag readers. I mean, although they were some developer version phones with NFC like Nokia’s 6212/6131 or even the Samsung’s s5230 used in the Sitges pilot, they weren’t available for the final user, so the projects turn into pilots and not into a real solution platform. But things are starting to change. Read MoreGustavo D. Gonzalez
2010 Has been a challenging year for our industry, yet a great year for Gibraltar SF. We will begin 2011 with the launch of the Gibraltar SF blog. It will be a public forum where we’ll be publishing our experience and research in the fields of software and technology. We invite you to subscribe to this blog and share your opinions on the subjects presented.
The Gibraltar SF Team is full of enthusiasm and really excited to dive into this New Year and wishes all of you a successful and happy 2011!!