Along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and all its glory, a big little thing called Near Field Communication (NFC) was implemented into the Galaxy Nexus. However, Google was light on details and most people are still curious as to what NFC is and what it can do for you.  Read on for a layperson explanation of the benefits of having NFC on the Galaxy Nexus.

Wireless Payment

Have you ever been waiting in a checkout line for way too long because the people before you are paying with loose bills and coins, or perhaps have to write out checks? Well Google has the answer. Now, all you have to do is swipe your phone over a sensor and the payment is charged to your credit card.  That’s wireless payment–no need for physical credit cards, checks, or currency.

Wireless payment will eliminate the need to carry around tedious credit cards. If you are worried about security, Google’s Eric Schmidt has said that all of your information is encrypted and will surely be safer than if you were carrying around a piece of plastic card.

Android Beam

If you weren’t able to watch Google’s release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, you might not have heard about Android Beam. This new addition to the Android operating system will allow for 2 devices to be tapped against one another and instantly share items such as Web pages, YouTube videos, applications, and much more.


If you have ever been to a modern hotel, you most likely had to carry around a key to open the door to your room and possibly to access other amenities. Now, a Swedish company has allowed for guests to use their cellphones as keys by putting the key right into the phone itself. If you’re a locksmith, look out, because Google wants to take your job.

What other possible applications can you think of or know of that uses wireless transactions through Near Field Communication?  What features that use NFC would you like to see in Android?

Matthew Sabatini
Matt has been an Android fanatic since the original Motorola Droid. In addition to designing web pages, running his own company, and going to school, he finds time to write for Android Authority. Matt still owns that good old Droid 1 and a Xoom Family Edition.