Google has rolled out a minor update to Google Android which adds support for more Near Field Communication (NFC) features. To be honest, this update isn’t going to mean anything to most people, because there’s only one phone currently shipping with Android 2.3: The Google Nexus S. But for developers, Google Android 2.3.3 adds new tools which could lead to some pretty interesting applications in the future for consumers.
That includes a new API for reading most existing NFC tags, new tools that give apps more control over how they’re launched when a tag comes into range, and support for peer-to-peer connections with other NFC equipped devices.
NFC is a short-range wireless protocol that has been used in some parts of the globe to let you do things like make secure payments using your phone like a credit card. But the technology can be used for all sorts of other applications when the right tools are available.
The SDK is available for developers today. Eventually we’ll probably see the OS update roll out to the Nexus S and possibly other devices.