The phone maker's tag reading/writing app for Android devices now allows users to program tags to perform multiple actions at one time, customize profiles so that tags perform in different ways for different users, and lock a tag so that only the owner can read its contents.
Samsung has released version 3.0 of its TecTiles NFC app in the US and Canada, adding support for a range of new features and for the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
The TecTile 3.0 app enables users to:
- Program multiple actions to a single TecTile. With one tap, says Samsung, a TecTile can perform a series of actions including turning on Bluetooth, launching the Navigation app and calling voicemail when entering a car.
- Customize profiles. Users can define preloaded profiles — such as "normal," "office," "night" and "car" — within the app and program a different TecTile tag to launch each profile, allowing for easy toggling between profiles throughout the day.
- Group profiles. Rather than program a TecTile to evoke the same actions on every smartphone with every tap, profiles allow one TecTile to perform customized actions for different users when scanned. For example, Samsung suggests, each TecTile user in an office can customize their "meeting" profile to fit their specific preferences, such as automatically setting the phone to vibrate or silent mode, depending on user choice. One TecTile in a conference room can then be used to automatically launch each individual user's custom "meeting" profile when they tap their NFC phone to the tag.
- Store TecTile tag history. Users can now keep a log of all their TecTile tags.
- Create private TecTile tags. Tags can be set so that they can only be read by the tag owner's mobile phone. TecTile 3.0 associates the programmer's email address to all private TecTile tags and then only allows execution of a TecTile command on the programmer's device.
- Unlock a previously locked TecTile. Programmers can unlock a previously locked TecTile, or clear a TecTile, without having to overwrite with a new command. "This is beneficial for both consumers and commercial users who want to extend the value of their TecTile tags while retaining the secure option to lock a TecTile," says Samsung.
Samsung has also expanded the list of phone settings that TecTile can change when tapped, including the addition of airplane mode, more comprehensive alarm settings and the ability to automatically change a ringtone. In addition, TecTile 3.0 can now integrate with more applications, allowing users to:
- Share or edit an electronic business card, forward a call or send a pre-written email to a specific address
- Toggle between play and pause on the Music Player app, or play a specific track
- As well as integration with LinkedIn, Facebook and Foursquare, tags can now be programmed to update a Google+ status, start a Google Talk conversation and check in using Google Places or Glympse location sharing.
"As the clear leader in NFC-enabled smartphone deployment in the United States, Samsung is committed to developing and advancing this promising mobile technology," says Kevin Packingham, chief product officer at Samsung Telecommunications America. "Samsung TecTile tags combined with the TecTile 3.0 application simplifies the way consumers interact with their mobile device and greatly enhances the overall user experience."