Back when we were all still using legacy BlackBerry devices we took a look at using NFC with supported devices. While we've had a look at using NFC to share files and photos with others there are many uses. BlackBerry 10 has a great app called Smart Tags which you can use to create your own tags. It's not a new app but we haven't taken the time to look at the app before, so join me as we create some NFC tags with the native Smart Tags app.
To begin with you'll want to get yourself some NFC tags. These come in different shapes and sizes and they can be purchased around the interwebs quite cheaply. You can buy them in sticker form so you can just stick them where you want them or you can even find tags which you can hang from different places. It doesn't really matter which style you get, that will be your preference.
You'll also need the Smart Tags app. It comes preinstalled on your BlackBerry 10 device but if for whatever reason it's not there you can download it from BlackBerry World.
Download Smart Tags from BlackBerry World
Using the BlackBerry Smart Tags app
The Smart Tags app is very simple to use and you can create tags in seconds from your Z30, Z10, Q10, Q5 or P'9982. When you open the app it will show you your list of created tags. Naturally, the very first time you open it that list will be empty and you"ll find a Plus icon prompting you to start creating tags. You'll find a long list of tags that you can create: tags to simply open a website; tags to share contact information; tags to share your social media profiles and even tags for Smart Triggers that can change your ringtone or alarm, or toggle connectivity options.
Just tap on what you want to create and then hit Write to NFC Tag on the bottom. It prompts you to tap your device to the tag and it will write create the NFC tag. You'll then see it appear on your list. (Note: At the time of writing I am running BlackBerry OS 10.2.1.2234 and if I created any Smart Triggers they did not show up on the list).
Example - Create a Wi-Fi toggle NFC tag
The Smart Tags app has a lot of options for you to choose from and you can really go to town and create dozens of tags for your use or even for public use but here's an example of creating a Wi-Fi toggle tag. But there is an option for you to specifically turn the Wi-Fi off or on.
- Turn on NFC on your device
- Open the Smart Tags app
- Tap the Plus icon on the bottom
- Select Smart Triggers
- Tap the Plus icon
- Select Wi-Fi then select Toggle from the dropdown menu
- Tap Write to NFC Tag along the bottom
- Tap your device to the NFC tag. The toast notification will pop up to say the tag was successfully written
Quick and easy!
With Smart Triggers you can add more than one function to one tag too. So, for example if you wanted to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and change your wallpaper all at the same time, you could go ahead and do that. Pretty neat feature. Perhaps, when you get home you want to change your notification profile and turn on Wi-Fi, this can be done too. You can create custom combinations for your preference.
Smart Tags also allows you to erase NFC data from a tag. If you no longer needed that function and wanted to create something else, you can erase the data and create a new one. At the same time, there is an option to lock the NFC tag data so that it could not be erased. This is helpful for the times when you want to perhaps stick an NFC tag in a public place and don't want anyone to be able to erase the data and change what it does. You can also mark tags as favorite and you can jump into that list quickly from the side tab, helpful when your list starts to grow.
I'm starting to use NFC tags more and more finding many uses for them. Having the Smart Tags app is what makes this a lot of fun. You can see that there is a whole bunch of NFC tags that you can create and even mix them up to do multiple things in one go. I only touched on the basics in this tutorial, now it's up to you to go out and tag!
Are you using NFC and the Smart Tags app with your Z30, Z10, Q10, Q5 or P'9982? If so, hit up the comments and let us know how you're putting them to use!