How to create and share Near Field Communication (NFC) Smart Tags


[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

One of the coolest features available on BlackBerry® 7 smartphones that include NFC functionality is the ability to use NFC smart tags to help obtain and share information with friends, family and colleagues from work. Here’s an overview of how to use smart tags as well some videos about this feature you’ll want to check out!

What is a Smart Tag?

Simply put, a NFC smart tag is a piece of information that can be read electronically by a NFC-enabled device, such as the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 smartphone. Smart tags can contain a range of information, such as a web address, telephone number, email address, coupons, graphics, media files, event details and more! All you need to do to read a smart tag is ensure that NFC technology is turned on, and that the backlight of your BlackBerry smartphone is turned on as well (in other words, on top of enabling NFC functionality, you must actively be using the BlackBerry smartphone to create, share or scan an NFC smart tag).

Which BlackBerry smartphones include NFC technology?

In order to use NFC smart tags, you must be using a BlackBerry 7 NFC-enabled device. Listed below are BlackBerry smartphones that include NFC technology:

Turn on or turn off NFC Technology

In order to create, share or scan an NFC smart tag, you need to turn on the NFC functionality in your BlackBerry smartphone. To do this, complete the steps below.

1. On the Home screen, select “Manage Connections”
2. To turn on NFC technology, select the NFC checkbox
3. To turn off NFC technology, clear the NFC checkbox

When you have turned on the NFC technology on your BlackBerry smartphone you’ll see the icon (circled in red) and shown below. Now let’s move on to creating a smart tag.

Creating a Smart Tag

1. In the Applications folder, click the Smart Tags icon
2. Press the Menu Key followed by selecting “Create Tag”

  • To create a smart tag that presents the option to call a phone number, send a text message, or add a phone number to a contact list, in the URL field, type “tel:” and a phone number.
  • To create a smart tag that presents the option to send a text message, in the URL field, type “sms:” and a phone number.
  • To create a smart tag that presents the option to send an email, view a contact’s information, or send a text message with an attachment, in the URL field, type “mailto:” and an email address.
  • To create a smart tag that presents the option to visit a webpage, open an application, or view a map location, in the URL field, type “http://” or “https://” and a web address.

3. Click “Save”.

Tip: Using BlackBerry 7.1? Instead of having to enter “tel:”, or “http://” for example, you can select the type of smart tag you’d like to create using a drop down box.

After creating a few smart tags, let’s take a look at how to share them with other NFC-enabled devices.

Sharing a Smart Tag

To share a smart tag you’ve created, first verify that NFC technology is turned on then complete the steps below to begin sharing information with NFC smart tags.

1. In the Applications folder, click the “Smart Tags” icon.
2. Click a Smart Tag.
3. Align the back of your BlackBerry smartphone with the back of another NFC-enabled device.

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

Troubleshooting NFC Technology

In the event you encounter some difficulty using NFC technology on your BlackBerry smartphone, here are a few suggestions you can try.

NFC doesn’t appear on the Manage Connections screen.
If your email account uses a BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, depending on the options that your administrator sets, you might not be able to perform this task. For more information, contact your administrator.

My smartphone doesn’t respond to NFC technology.
Try the following actions:

  • Verify that NFC technology is turned on.
  • If you are trying to make a payment transaction using NFC technology and your BlackBerry smartphone’s backlight is off (or your smartphone is off), verify that your smartphone is set to allow NFC payment transactions when the backlight is off or the smartphone is off.
  • If you are trying to make a payment transaction using NFC technology, verify that the smart tags application isn’t running. If the smart tags application is open, you can’t make payment transactions using NFC technology.

I can’t send or receive files.
If your email account uses a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, your organization might not allow you to use some features or might prevent you from sending or receiving files. For more information about the features that are available on your smartphone, contact your administrator.

Otherwise, try the following actions:

  • Verify that the file you’re trying to send or receive is a file type that’s supported by BlackBerry smartphones.
  • Verify that the file that you’re trying to send is a file that you have added to your smartphone and that the file is not protected by copyright or DRM.
  • If you’re trying to send a file to or receive a file from a specific application, verify that the application is installed on your smartphone.
  • If you can’t find a file that was sent to you, check the folder that matches the file type of the sent file. Files sent to your smartphone are stored in the folder that matches each file’s type. For example, if you receive a picture, the picture is saved in the pictures folder of your smartphone or media card, depending on the settings on your smartphone.

Now that you are an expert on using smart tags, did you know that you can use NFC technology to share files using BlackBerry® Tag? To learn more, check out Corey’s post on how to send and receive files using Near Field Communication (NFC) on a BlackBerry 7.1 OS smartphone using BlackBerry Tag. Don’t forget to check out the user guide for your BlackBerry smartphone to learn more about using smart tags, such as how to copy smart tag data from your BlackBerry smartphone to a writeable smart tag you can put on a poster, postcard and more!

If you have a question or feedback please leave a comment and let me know as I’d love to hear from you.

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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