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Yesterday, the Android team announced the SDK for the Gingerbread 2.3.3 release, with much-enhanced NFC support. The NFC api is indeed very exciting and well thought-out, and will hopefully lead to a great many uses of NFC in the not-to-distant future.
Why is this exciting (and timely)? Combine this with the expanded NFC support, and developers can now write applications that run over Bluetooth but don’t require a cumbersome pairing process. Instead, with a few lines of code, a developer can enable users to simply tap two phones together to have the details of the Bluetooth connection sent between devices and run your p2p application.
To use NFC to kick off a Bluetooth session, first start a running socket server on one device, using a randomly generated service UUID. Then, create an NDEF message encoding the MAC address of the phone’s Bluetooth device and the UUID of the listening service. When this message is received by the joining phone, it will have enough information to connect to the Bluetooth server socket.
We hope that api’s like this, combined with NFC, will give a new boost in the number of fun and useful Bluetooth applications available for our phones.