Nfc Interactor 1.1: More Help + Support

Starting today, Nfc Interactor 1.1 is available for download in the Windows Phone store! If you have already installed or bought version 1.0, make sure you visit the store to install the update.

The main focus of this release is to increase the amount of help and support the application gives. This includes help for each record type you can write to a tag: an overview, instructions on how to write it, as well as platform support.

Message support

Nfc Interactor is intended to be a powerful and flexible NFC tag writer. Therefore, it can write as many messages as possible; even those that are not currently directly supported by Windows Phone 8. A good example is SMS tags, which are currently supported by Android, MeeGo and Symbian, but not by the Windows Phone operating system. Nevertheless, Nfc Interactor allows you to write those tags. The integrated help in the app now explains those restrictions.

Nfc Interactor 1.1 adds the possibility to write Microsoft-defined DriveTo and WalkTo tags, which directly launch the navigation app on Windows Phone 8. On Nokia Lumia phones, DriveTo already works; no navigation app handles WalkTo requests so far.

In addition, Nfc Interactor can now write and parse NearSpeak voice messages.

Tag support & NDEF Formatting

In addition, Nfc Interactor will now show help text if you touch a tag / phone and the message does not get written or sent. Windows Phone can write to standardized NFC Forum Type 1 – 4 as well as Mifare Classic tags that do not use keys or other security mechanisms to limit access.

In addition, NFC tags have to be NDEF formatted. Please make sure you get the right tag types for use with Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, there is no way any app on the platform can work around this current limitation of the operating system.

Launching Tasks and Changing System Settings

The feature most frequently asked for is to allow changing system settings (e.g., the volume, activating Bluetooth, Wifi, etc.). As these use cases are not standardized, they always need to be triggered by custom tag contents, specific to (Android) apps that then trigger the settings. Unfortunately, the strict security model of Windows Phone does not allow any app to change system settings – these always need to stay in control of the user.

The good news is that Nfc Interactor v1.2 will get as close to this scenario as possible and add a new record type that can launch the specific app settings page, e.g., for (de)activating Bluetooth. The actual change of the setting still has to be performed by the user.

Change Log

The full change log for version Nfc Interactor 1.1:

  • Adds support for reading + writing NearSpeak messages
  • Adds support for DriveTo and WalkTo Geo URI schemes to start navigation on WP8
  • Additionally shows raw URI for auto-parsed URI-based records (SMS, Telephone, Nokia Accessories, NearSpeak)
  • Help for each message type
  • Help when phone doesn’t write to available NFC target
  • Link to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Removed splash screen