Since I’ve rarely seen NFC across two different platforms, I decided to put the two devices to the test by sharing content from one to the other, all without any prior configuration. As it turns out, it works quite well for sharing web pages but not so well for other things.
The most basic test, sharing webpages, was quite easy. Both devices were able to send and receive when the two devices kissed (in the right place, it takes some getting use to). Surprisingly, receiving NFC content on Android actually required no interaction and launches applications immediately whereas Windows 8 does present a prompt and an opportunity to dismiss it.
Sharing more advanced content presents some interesting challenges. Since there’s very minimal NFC “send” support in Windows 8, sending Google Maps from the Nexus 7 invoked Internet Explorer to open to the website, presumably for compatibility reasons since there’s no industry standard for map data.
I also didn’t have any luck sending photo images between Windows 8 and Android as neither platform understands the proprietary data the other is sending.
Hopefully NFC across platforms will improve as apps and OSes come to agreement with some pseudo-standards for sharing rich data beyond just web pages. Until then, get ready to share your favourite YouTube videos by kissing your friends’ tablets.
Thanks to Dinesh and Hank for their hand-modelling.