Near Field Communication or NFC is a latest technology for connecting phones in a blink of the eye to share files and media. This new hardware feature is implemented in most new Android phones and not only can you instantly connect with another phone, but you can also connect with special NFC tags. Android Beam is Google’s newest software addition on Android that lets you share content between Android devices using the NFC technology.
Basically, as the name suggests, this only works with devices which are near or next to each other. Implemented in Android 4.0 ICS, NFC lets you share contacts, web page links, Youtube videos, bookmarks and Google map directions. Currently, NFC can only store and transfer content of very low sizes which is why the above mentioned content is perfect for sharing via NFC. However, since Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, you can use your Android device to transfer larger media files including videos and music.
Method 1: Transferring Contacts, Links and Maps
You can transfer small pieces of content directly through NFC including web page links, map locations, contacts and other lightweight information. For this, you’ll need to have NFC support on both the devices and the devices should be running Android version 4.0 or above.
Open the Settings app on your Android device and tap on More under Wireless and Networks.
Now, enable NFC on your device by checking on the NFC option. You will need to make sure that NFC is enabled on both the Android devices.
Now, click on Android Beam below NFC and make sure that it is enabled. You will also need to do this for both the devices.
Next, go to the content that you want to share with another device. For sending a particular contact, just open the contact information through the Contacts app on your device. For sharing a Youtube video, simply open that particular video in the Youtue app. For sharing a web page, open the page in your browser. You can also share an app by opening the app page on the Google Play Store. For sharing a location, open Google maps on your device and go the location that you want to share.
Now make sure that both devices are unlocked and the screen is turned on. If the screen is off or the device is locked, then Android Beam will not work.
Hold both the devices together back to back, meaning that both the devices should be facing each other’s backs. The devices should be really close as if they’re touching but you don’t actually have to make a physical contact.
Your device should now vibrate and you should see an animation. You will also get a message saying Touch to Beam. Simply touch anywhere on your device and the content that you want to share should now be available on the other Android device.
Method 2: Transferring Photos, Music and Videos
While Android Beam became really popular by letting users share small pieces of information, the experience was taken to a whole new level after Android’s next 4.1 Jelly Bean update. You can now share large files including videos, music and photos between two Android devices through NFC. This method doesn’t actually use NFC to transfer the files but uses NFC to trigger a quick Bluetooth transfer. In order to use Android Beam for sharing photos, music and videos, both the Android devices should have NFC built-in and both should be running Android version 4.1 or above.
Follow Steps 1 till 3 from Method 1
Go to the content that you want to share. For images and videos, you can open the picture or video in your Gallery app. For sharing music, you can open a song or music file in your Music app.
Follow Steps 5 to 7 from Method 1. When the beam process starts through NFC, your devices will basically be sharing the files through a Bluetooth connection. The file transfer should be relatively fast and you won’t need to pair the devices as Android Beam does everything through NFC.
Method 3: File Beam
This method uses a third party app for sharing files and data between Android devices. As the File Beam app uses Google’s Android Beam technology, you don’t need to install it on the receiving Android device. Basically, the app doesn’t have any icon and just replaces how you use Android Beam on your Android device. With Android Beam, you can easily share files by going to the specific app such as the Gallery app or the Music app. Most file managers don’t have the option to use Android Beam. File Beam is the app that adds the Android Beam functionality to file managers as well.
Download and install the File Beam app on your Android device. You can get the app through the Google Play button below.
Follow Steps 1 to 3 from Method 1.
Open the file manager that is installed on your Android device and go to the directory where the file that you want to share is stored. Hold on the file that you want to share and tap on the Share or Send option.
You should now see a lot of options for sharing the file including Bluetooth and Email. Click on the Beam File option.
You should now get a popup saying Touch the two device to continue. Touch both the devices together on their backs or just hold them really close and follow Steps 5 to 7 from Method 1.
Android Beam takes Android connectivity to a whole new level and NFC’s addition to the latest Android devices is definitely a big plus. NFC is great for sharing light weight information as it can transfer small files in a blink. However, the latest improvement in how you can use NFC and Android Beam on Android 4.1 has definitely taken the functionality to the next level. Not only do you get automatic paired Bluetooth connections directly for transferring larger files, but you also don’t need to enable Bluetooth on any of the device. If you don’t want to beam you can also just check out the messaging apps, make sure that you follow all the instructions properly before using Android Beam and feel free to ask any questions below