By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dallas – Samsung has expanded the capabilities of its programmable TecTile nearfield communications (NFC) tags with the launch of its TecTile 3.0 Android app.
The original app, launched midyear, lets users launch multiple smartphone functions by tapping any of Samsung’s NFC-enabled Android devices against a flat, 1-inch-square NFC tag, which adheres to surfaces such as car dashes and desks.
The new app adds new features, such as control of more phone settings, deeper integration with more apps, and the ability to program a string of commands to a single TecTile.
The new app is free in the Google Play store, and a pack of five TecTiles remains at $14.99.
The app’s enhancements include:
--linking multiple actions to a single TecTile so that, for example, one tap turns on Bluetooth, launches the navigation app, and calls voicemail when the user enters a car;
--customizing phone profiles, enabling a different TecTile tag to launch a different profile, such as normal, office, night and car;
-- enabling one TecTile to perform different actions for different users so that, for example, a TecTile in a conference room automatically launches each user’s unique meeting profile;
-- creating private TecTile tags that only the owner’s phone can read;
--an expanded list of phone settings that a TecTile can change when tapped, including the addition of airplane mode, more alarm settings and the ability to automatically change a ringtone; and
--integration with more applications, including sharing or editing an electronic business card, forwarding a call, sending a pre-written email to a specific address, toggling between play/pause settings on music player, or playing a specific track.
The previous app integrated with LinkedIn, Facebook and Foursquare, and the new app adds Google+ status updates, starting a Google Talk conversation, and checking in on Google Places or on Glympse location sharing.
Compatible NFC-enabled Samsung smartphones are the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy S Blaze 4G, Galaxy Exhilarate, Galaxy S Relay and Galaxy Victory.
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