Adding to the pile of news surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S II this week, we have some new info -- some good and some bad . The good news is that the AT&T and T-Mobile variants will both be equipped with NFC. Engadget (along with François Simond) took a peak earlier today into the system files of AT&T's S II variant and found conclusive evidence of NFC presence, including a pre-installed app, but whether mobile payments will be one of the SII's capabilities remains to be seen. Additionally, FCC filings from T-Mobile confirm NFC is onboard for its GSII as well.
Normally, we don't post FCC filings, but this one caught our attention. It appears that a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II with NFC just hit the FCC sporting AT&T radios. But wait, this is where it starts to get interesting. Back in March, another variant with AT&T bands hit the FCC. Curious, yes?
The rabbit hole gets deeper: earlier this week, we saw photos of a version of the GSII sporting a keyboard that is rumored to be heading to AT&T, yet today's filing shows identical dimensions to the European variant of the GSII, suggesting that there is no keyboard.
It's been a while since the Nexus S hit the Android scene, bringing two noteworthy new features with it: Gingerbread and NFC. While the former has seen relatively wide adoption, the latter hasn't gotten much action as of yet - the closest we've come to witnessing a useful example of the technology is Google Wallet, and we have yet to find out when that will be available for public consumption.
But it appears El Goog will be far from alone in its NFC ventures, as PayPal today unveiled an NFC-enabled Android widget which will allow Nexus S users to exchange payments by simply tapping their phones together.
Well, well, well - looks like there was more to yesterday's Nexus S GRJ90 leak than originally met the eye. Though the update doesn't contain many changes, the bigwigs at Mountain View apparently deemed it substantial enough to warrant a new version number: 2.3.5.
Again, the update includes:
- Fixes for the Nexus S 4G's signal reception issues
- A 4G settings widget for the Nexus S 4G
- TTY (teletypewriter) support
- NI push support
- The NFC secure element, which is critical to Google Wallet
So there you have it - assuming that Droid Life's sources are credible (and given the blog's track record, I'd say they are), you'll be able to refer to the update that should be hitting your Nexus S 4G next Monday not only as GRJ90, but also as Android 2.3.5.
While NFC has yet to be widely adopted in smartphones, that didn't stop Google from sneaking it in to the Google+ app. This mean that, when using an NFC-enabled device (read: the Nexus S/4G), you'll be able to read tags and share the contents via Google+. The functionality is quite limited right now, but this could bring big things in the future: automatically check in at a restaurant and share it with your Circles, scan tags to join a Huddle, easily find location-based relevant Sparks... the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, the only way you can utilize this functionality is if you have a Nexus S and are part of the Google+ field trial.
Just when you thought you were sick and tired of Angry Birds news (I certainly was), Rovio Mobile has unveiled an intriguing new spin on the classic throw-the-birds-at-the-pigs gameplay, and it involves the much-ballyhooed NFC chip found in the Nexus S.
It's not available just yet, but it appears that in future releases of Angry Birds, you'll be able to utilize a previously Nokia-exclusive feature called "Magic." Simply bump your phone against a friend's to unlock new levels or share existing gameplay elements.
Better yet, Magic will work with your phone's GPS chip so that when you travel to a real-world location and touch your phone to an NFC tag, new gameplay features will be unlocked.
A few days ago, we told you that Google was most likely going to announce a mobile payment service using NFC. Today, that announcement is official, and it's called Google Wallet. Wallet is exactly what the name suggests: a payment service that aggregates all of your credit cards, coupons, loyalty cards, and more, into your Android phone. You can then not only use your phone to pay, but it will also enter your customer loyalty information automatically, as well as redeem any coupons that are loaded into your Wallet using NFC (near field communication).
Here are a few bullets about Wallet, how it works, and what to expect:
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.
Sharing data between devices in this manner is not a completely novel concept as the cross-platform app Bump already provides similar features.
The first day of Google I/O 2011 is now over (see our highlights) - in fact, the next one is starting in mere 7 hours (4 hours of sleep - check). That doesn't mean, however, that the information presented was lost forever - on the contrary, Google has archived most, if not all, of the footage and made it available to you on YouTube via the GoogleDevelopers channel.
You can find the full keynote, filled with Android goodness to the brim, along with the most interesting Android sessions below.
Keynote Day 1:
Fireside Chat with the Android Team:
How to NFC:
And, of course, Jane's Addiction live in concert at the after party (this was awesome):
At Google's I/O Keynote Tuesday, it was announced that Android may be worming its way into your house in the near future - not just through your phone, tablet or TV, but through other appliances, as well. Android@Home is a system meant to be used as a conduit between your devices and appliances win your home, like the lighting or music systems.
As it was demonstrated for the keynote audience, the presenters had linked various lights to an application in the tablet, dimming them or turning them off as they performed different actions. These light bulbs were specially-made for the task; it looks like if you want access to the system, you're going to have to do some replacing in your home.