“All the functionality you need is in the Nexus S,” NXP has told NFC World, and Google will be rolling out SDKs to support mobile payments and other NFC services on a step-by-step basis.
Software upgrades to Android 2.3 and further extensions to the software development kit (SDK) to support mobile payments and other NFC functions will be rolled out in phases.
Other handset manufacturers are also now able to develop Android Gingerbread phones with full NFC functionality built in, NXP added, as the protocol stack it has developed for Google includes all the functionality they require.
The reason the SDK only includes tag reading functionality at the moment is that Google wanted to introduce NFC as quickly as possible, NXP’s Charles Dachs told NFC World at the Cartes show in Paris this week. Updates to the SDK to enable developers to write NFC applications for mobile payments and other applications on Android Gingerbread devices are to be rolled out on a phased basis, he explained.
While NXP would not be drawn on exactly when these would be released, Jeff Miles, the company’s director of mobile transactions, told NFC World that he expected to see them made available as updates within Android 2.3 rather than only being part of the next major Android release.
Google has been keen to get NFC functionality into the hands of handset manufacturers as quickly as possible, Miles added, and NXP has been working hand in hand with the firm for months to get the solution ready. “From a manufacturer point of view, everything is ready now — all free, all in open source. It’s just the SDK that’s coming out in stages.”
Google has already launched its first NFC marketing service. Businesses in Portland, Oregon can now apply to receive a smart poster containing an RFID chip that, when read by an NFC phone, will automatically direct customers to the merchants’ Google Places page.