11
May
nfc-sharing

A lot of interesting products and services have been demoed at Google I/O 2011, including a number of interesting features for Ice Cream Sandwich, Android's forthcoming iteration. One of the less flashier features demoed is the 0-click peer-to-peer NFC sharing. This allows compatible Android devices to share content (contacts, links, YouTube videos) between the devices by simply placing them in close proximity to each other. No app needs to be run and no buttons need to be clicked - hence the "0-click" moniker.

nfc-sharing

Sharing data between devices in this manner is not a completely novel concept as the cross-platform app Bump already provides similar features. However, Bump requires you to physically "bump" two devices together and, unlike 0-click NFC sharing, you must have the dedicated Bump app running on both devices. 0-click is much simpler in that you need only place the devices in close proximity and the data will seamlessly transfer between the two devices.

The types of content that can be transferred include:

  • contact data - the contact automatically pops open
  • website links - the link automatically loads
  • YouTube videos - the video resumes playback from where it stopped playing
  • apps - an app viewed on one phone leads the other phone to the download page of that app on the Android Market

Google intends to build 0-click into as many of their system apps as possible. They also intend to roll out an API to allow developers to enable 0-click in third-party apps.

Check out the speaker at Google I/O 2011 explain in detail how 0-click will work:

This looks like an incredibly useful feature as it ensures that you do not have to stop what you are doing to copy and paste content, it will be automatically shared. I can think of a number of situations where sharing content in this manner would be very useful, such as sharing contact information in a noisy environment or transitioning between your phone and tablet.

Despite the services usefulness I can imagine that users would be concerned about its security. All a malicious individual has to do is place a 0-click compatible device near another such device and malware can be transferred or data can be downloaded. It will certainly come with robust security features - however, the apparent ease of transferring content is the main draw of 0-click, and if it requires passwords or other forms of authentication, it may lose its luster.

Source: Engadget

Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu is an opinionated tech and digital media blogger. As a doe-eyed twenty-something he started his first blog TechComet to comment on anything tech-related that caught his omniscient eye. Since then he has blogged for Android Police, Make Tech Easier, and This Green Machine. In the real world, Abhiroop Basu is a resident of Singapore and the Editor of The Digit, a subsidiary of The Potato Productions Group.

  • Robotman

    I certainly hope there will be a way to turn off that feature. This security risk will severely limit Android's growth in the enterprise market. No business would want such risk even with "robust" security.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu Abhiroop Basu

      I'm fairly sure it wouldn't activate if you just leave your device near another. Having said that, if it requires a lengthy pairing process (e.g. Bluetooth) it may lose its usefulness.

      • xhazyx

        It could be as easy as "disable sharing while screen is off"... I think the security side wont be so much of a concern

        • Robotman

          No, a business will likely need it to be absolutely disengaged, not merely "off" while the screen is blank. I have turned on my screen by accidentally bumping it while in my pocket (obviously, this depends on the model of the phone).
          This concern isn't even for high-level security operations. Any doctor, lawyer, political worker, journalist etc. will need to have this turned off. Basically, anyone who wants to keep contacts and data even remotely secure will be at least resistant to this feature.
          Blackberry is terribly behind the times, but one reason that they keep any business is the security. A business may trade some security for the general better functionality of Android, but I suspect that this "feature" will be a deal breaker.

          Note that I'm not saying ICS shouldn't have the feature, only that some menu setting be available to absolutely shut it down. I should add that this needs to be standard, not something I need to root the device to do.

  • jblackmetal

    What's up with the apple laptop at an android Google press release. What is this a joke they might as well be at a Steve jobs press advertising for the ishit.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu Abhiroop Basu

      Well it's either a Windows laptop or an Apple laptop since I doubt a "Chromebook" could do the heavy lifting required for serious coding.

    • Uphor8

      You're clearly not a developer but a troll.

  • calex

    I haven't watched the video, but you should be careful about how you describe things, as people do take your words literally.

    If this really will work _literally_ the way you say it will (no clicking involved, meaning no per-transaction configuration and validation of what's being transferred), it's mostly useless.

    Of course, I'm sure it's actually mostly the editor just massively over-exaggerating.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/abhiroop-basu Abhiroop Basu

      Please do watch the video. It is completely seamless. You just need to place the device in close proximity. Of course it may involve prior configuration but this is not shown in the video.

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