It has been a while since NFC made its way to smartphones. Heralded as the next big thing, it would make transactions easy, data transfers simple, connection to other devices a breeze and allow a whole host of other possibilities.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy S3 last year, it attempted to show off the possibilities of NFC through a new accessory named TecTiles. TecTiles are little NFC-enabled stickers which you could use to, for example, enable/disable Wi-Fi on your phone at a certain location and they became mildly popular.
However, in the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung chose the BCM2079x NFC controller which is not compatible with Samsung’s TecTiles that utilize MiFare Tags. This new controller follows NFC standards and is found in other phones like the Nexus 4, but won’t read the MiFare Classic 1k tags found in Samsung TecTiles. Brian Klug from AnandTech reached out to Samsung and the company offered a statement:
Samsung is introducing TecTile 2, an update to the original TecTile NFC programmable tags, which will be available in the coming weeks. TecTile 2 will use the current NFC technology on the market, allowing Samsung customers to further incorporate NFC into their daily lives and to use with the latest Samsung Mobile products and services, including the Galaxy S 4. As industry standards continue to evolve, Samsung remains committed to meeting those standards and adapting its technologies if necessary. Samsung customers can also fully utilize TecTiles 2 with existing Samsung Mobile NFC-enabled Android smartphones currently in market.
But wait, that’s not quite the end of the story yet. It seems some of the more recently manufactured TecTiles have been updated to NFC Forum type 4 tags. These tags would be compatible with the Galaxy S4, as well as the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3, so if you’ve picked up some TecTiles more recently you’re in luck.