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Get the most out of NFC on Windows Phone 8 with NFC Toolkit

NFC is an area that so far Windows Phone and Android are beating Apple at. In fact, the iPhone doesn’t even support NFC. While some NFC features are still limited on Windows Phone, it’s a nice feature to have in a variety of scenarios. Automatically pairing your phone to your speaker is one example that’s always demonstrated, but NFC can do so much more. Here’s an NFC app for Windows Phone that’s pretty unique. It’s called NFC Toolkit and we’re going to check it out.

NFC Toolkit comes from the developer behind TweeCoMinder, an app we’ve covered before and enjoy using. NFC Toolkit isn’t exactly a fun app for social media, instead it’s aimed solving some problems that you might face on a daily basis. This isn’t another app that just reads and writes tags, instead NFC Toolkit introduces profiles for Windows Phone.

What’s a profile? Profiles are capable of opening various setting pages in a row. This makes doing relatively common functions on your Windows Phone device a lot easier. Profiles basically consist of two variables – situation and settings you want to carry out. For example, you might walk into your office and wish to disable your cellular data connection, but turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can place an NFC tag near your desk that helps you do those actions quickly in a row.

NFC Toolkit

As of right now, only settings pages can be added into a profile. As the Windows Phone platform matures and adds more NFC-friendly features you can be sure that NFC Toolkit will take advantage of them.

NFC Toolkit will let you create various profiles and write them to NFC tags. Of course you can read and write other things to NFC tags like launching a specific app or website.

NFC can be a somewhat intimating corner of technology if you’re not too familiar with it. Thankfully, NFC Toolkit is user friendly and offers an interface that is easy and fast to navigate. There are little guides and instructions everywhere throughout the app to ensure that you don’t get lost or confused about a particular function.

If you have a handful of NFC tags laying around and want to interact with them you should check out NFC Toolkit. The app costs $1.49, but includes a free trial that allows users to fully test it for 10 days.

The developer is open to user feedback and will take the app in directions that are requested. So don’t hesitate to contact him through the about page in the app.

Want NFC Toolkit for Windows Phone 8? Grab it from the Windows Phone Store, use the QR code, or swipe to the right in our app. 

52 Comments
  • Oh, yeah, baby, we're rocking it! We = Windows Phone.
  • Finally you post this! ;)
  • If only it allowed you to automatically change the setting instead of opening he setting page.
  • That's a limitation of the OS itself. The app developers can't do anything about it until Microsoft allows that.
  • True enough.. Either windows is bloated or crippled.
  • It's a stupid nanny implementation of the function. Just let me agree to a waiver if they're worried about security complaints.
  • One of "a few" lame limitations like not allowing a third party app (read tile) to open the calendar app. A compromize to the nanny attitude would be to have the phone put a phone-ID (like the IMEI) on the tag to make it do it's stuff without any user intervention. "Foreign" tags (should/)could still ask for confirmation.
  • Microsoft keeps a tight limitation on its OS so consumers will have the same experience and appearence across all platforms and devices. This is the reason Android is so fragmented.
  • Does Nokia NFC Writer only open a Settings app, or does it allow changing a setting? (I don't have any tags to try either app with.) It would be cool to have a side by side comparison.
  • Changing settings is not allowed by the security model of the OS. A developer can only take you to he page where the setting is. I'd like to see a model where there is a check box that says, "always accept this tag," and it remembers individual tags, so you can allow automation there and at least get rid of the confirmation. Beyond that I'm not sure what the right balance of security and convenience is, unless that also becomes an individual tag prompt that can be remembered.
  • If you have a 920, remember the sample NFC tag they give you? It might wok but I haven't tried.
  • I have a question to all of you guys....... 1. how to improve the battery life of LUMIA 720. it lasts only 1day. I dont plpay games, only 30 , 40 mins of hdphn music, 30 min og 2g net surfing through UC browser, some pdf reading, some ESPN FC app usage thats it........what to do? 2. How to get cyan color silicon cover for NL 720, I asked  it in nokia store..they dont have it. cant find it in flipkart. i am from india....help me please
  • Your complaint about your smartphone getting a days worth or charge? People would love that from theirs.
  • http://www.expansys.com/nokia-shell-for-lumia-720-blue-250085/
  • Sorry to read this Saikat. Something does seem wrong there. My wife gets 3-4 days from her 720 and the kids do use it to play games in the car on the way home from school for about 30 mins each day. I once had a faulty WiFi router that was dropping the signal every few minutes. The phone I had at the time was set to connect when available and so it was constantly reconnecting, which would kill the battery in a few hours (when it would usually last three days).  A dodgy WiFi router isn't an obvious cause of battery drain issues, so I'm pointing this out in case you've exhausted all other possibilities. You might also want to consider asking this question on the official Nokia Discussions forum instead of a comments section in WPC about an NFC App.
  • If the radios are on, I don't know of any smart phone of any brand that will last 3-4 days. As I stroll by the offices at work, everyone with a smartphone has it plugged and charging.
  • Try connecting to WiFi as much as possible. Cellular data streaming will quickly devour your battery.
  • Turn off music streaming and Xbox? Pushing music settings.
    turn mail to push
    low brightness
    no Bluetooth
    airplane mode only
    WiFi off when not in use
    close extra apps
    unpin unneeded live tiles..probably uses more pwr instead of a black background.
    hope this helps!
  • Sorry, but requiring user confirmation to accept NFC functions makes most basic NFC uses pointless.
  • Agreed!
  • +620 ,I want to show it off to friends but it is just sad
  • The same limitations can be found on Android unless rooted...
  • Nope.
  • Nope.avi^^^
  • Agreed.   If I used bluetooth headphones and speakers, I'd see how awesome it is.  But outside of that.. I find nothing useful about NFC as long as there's no way past user confirmation pop-ups every step of the way.   I want macros/automation.
  • I also have zero use for NFC and never have it switched on. I have to agree with Apple when they defended the omission of NFC from the iPhone 5 by saying that it is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
  • With all the limitation of WP for NFC, this app and all the NFC technology is useless on Windows Phone!
  • Absolutely... I was excited to try it, but I have never, not once, found anything useful to do with it... It is virtually useless as currently implemented. 
  • I was the same way. Bought some tags, started messing around, quickly learned it was pointless. It's like your parents buying you a car but then making you ask for the keys each time you want to drive it.
  • NFC in coats and clothes
  • Yep. You might as well just group pin a bunch of apps in a group on the start page and get the same effect.
  • Yeah, NFC doesn't mean much without being able to execute on these profiles without going from settings page to settings page. Just counting down until we're allowed this feature, and NFC becomes usable in the Android way... Then to introduce some raspberry pi...
  • So far from reading the comments it seems NFC is really crippled on Windows Phone. On Android, if I have a tag, can I set it so that as soon as I tap it, it automatically turns data off & turns WiFi on? And if I want to reverse the process I'll need a new tag right? If yes to both of my questions, when the heck is Windows Phone going to get this feature?
  • Im new to this but it is my understanding that you canget chips to toggle. Using the same chip but first tap =s on and second tap =s off. 
  • 20 bucks for the NFC tag starter kid for pretty much nothing, that's sad...
  • What????
  • Its a quid 29p in the UK
  • 20 bucks for a starter KID is cheap? human trafficking is illegal x0
  • "intimating" ???
  • He means intimidating but Sam does talk intimately in his posts ;)
  • ha ha ha! Yeah I know what he meant.
  • Now that we are on the subject of NFC, why won't my Nokia Lumia 920 send pictures to my friend (Samsung Galaxy Note 2) via NFC?? Or the other way around? But when I send a picture to my other friend's Samsung Ativ S it works?
  • WP. V. Android ________(candy) OS. Is different and not compatible with window phone. Samsung ativ is WP though.
  • Thank you. Do you think they are able to make the 2 compatible with each other in the future?
  • Idk, I'm guessing that they will (makes sense) but I'm not positive that's why they are incompatible, bec I don't own an android phone or tablet!
  • Where do i buy nfc tags?. I'm in the uk.
  • Seriously? Amazon UK has a ton.
  • In its current form, NFC is completely useless on WP8. If there is no improvement in GDR3 / WP8.1, you can easily abandon this feature, as due to all the built-in OS limitations and usability annoyances, it cannot be used for any meaningful task.
  • Microsoft should at least allow "trusted NFC tag". If I made the tag myself, why can't I skip the confirmation button?
  • You can do pretty much the same thing with an app like Car Starter, Network Dashboard or CarStand, due to the NFC limitations on WP there is no automation involved so you basically only save the step of turning on the app.   But I commend the developer for wanting to do something, and if NFC gets true automation it could be cool.
  • sub.
  • Most of the NFC usage are between NFC beacons and Windows Phones. NFC beacons are slow to set up in all locations, but NFC phones are increasing ! There is also an usage of NFC which can be done between phones, that's what we believed in when we developed WiRub.