NFC Tag Writer for Windows Phone can now read tags, save favorites, share tag definitions, publish and read published tags. All features beyond writing tags can be enabled via an in-app Pro upgrade.
NFC Tag Writer for Windows Phone has come a long way since its humble beginnings almost a year ago. Each release has steadily improved with support for additional tag types and has been localized into Chinese (simplified) and German. It’s available as a free download here in all major markets around the world.
NFC Tag Writer (or more correctly Windows Phone) requires writable, NDEF formatted NFC tags. If the tag is not NDEF formatted, NFC Tag Writer will not recognize it. A great source for NFC tags is GoToTags.com.
The just released Version 2.0 is a huge leap forward with a beautiful UI, the ability to read tags and save favorites. You can also share tags with other users via email. Additionally you can ‘publish’ tags. Publishing is similar to writing a tag except it sends the tag information to another NFC device instead of to a physical tag. These features are enabled by purchasing the ‘PRO Upgrade’ found in the ‘additional features’ menu.
When you start version 2.0 is looks exactly like previous versions.
If you purchased the ‘removed ads’ feature in NFC Tag Writer prior to November 1, 2013 you received a free upgrade to Pro. Here is what the home page looks like after the Pro upgrade:
NFC Tag Writer Pro home page is using a nice looking panorama with ‘favorites’ (saved tag definitions) and ‘read tags’ to right of the ‘select tag type’ area. Below is a list of my favorites.
This is what the ‘read tags’ area looks like when no tags have been read. After reading a tag, you can save it to favorites or shake the phone to clear the list.
If you didn’t receive a free upgrade, you can purchase it via the ‘additional features’ page:
You can try the Pro features for $0.99. The option is ‘Upgrade to Pro! 500 tag writes’. For $0.99, you get a generous 500 tag writes. After you use up the 500 writes, the app reverts to free mode. You can buy additional writes at any time.
If you want the Pro features permanent, you can select the ‘Upgrade to Pro! Unlimited tag writes’ option for $2.49. After you’ve purchased this option, the app will always be in Pro mode – even if you uninstall and reinstall the app. Also if you move to a new phone, the Pro mode will follow.
If you just want to purchase the Pro version outright, you can here.
The Pro upgrade significantly expands the NFC capabilities of the app allowing you to not only write to tags, but ‘write’ the other NFC devices as well. This is known as publishing. The app can intelligently determine if it is writing to a device or tag and will write or publish as necessary. Try this:
Select ‘Contact’ from the home page.
Fill in some of the fields on the contact page.
Bring your phone in ‘NFC range’ (almost touching the NFC sensor) of another NFC device.
Note the NFC button on the app bar becomes active when in range of an NFC device or tag.
Now press the NFC button.
The target device will prompt the user to accept the Contact information:
After receiving the Contact information, you can save it to add it to your contact list:
Another Pro feature is the ability to read tags. That is, you can read the tag definitions of other tags and then store them as ‘favorites’. This is easy as starting the app, and then placing the phone near a tag or publishing to a device. Here is what the ‘read tags’ section of the home screen looks like after reading a ‘Contact’ tag:
Press and hold on a read tag to save that tag definition to the favorites list.
A really useful pro feature is the ability to share tag definitions via email. To do this, go to the favorites list, press and hold on a favorite and select ‘share’. Then select the email account you wish to use. The app will pre-populate an email for you. You’ll fill in the ‘To:’ field of the email and press send. The recipient can then read the tag definition into their NFC Tag Writer Pro app. If they have not installed the app, they will be prompt to install it from the Windows Phone Store. They will also have to select one of the Pro upgrades in order to import the tag definition.
Have a few tag definitions that you often use? Pin your often use tag definitions to the Start screen.
Overall, NFC Tag Writer is full featured and easy to use. It would be great if tags could make settings changes on the device without requiring the user to approve the change – this is an OS limitation that will hopefully addressed in a future update of Windows Phone.