Imagine tapping your phone against a meeting room wall to silence its ringer, or tapping it against your favorite restaurant's menu to automatically download the tapas listings. Think it sounds like sci-fi? It's not. Those are just two of the actions Samsung's NFC-enabled TecTile stickers can be programmed to perform, and a new update to the app that powers the process makes TecTiles even more flexible than before.
When Samsung released the first-generation TecTile app, you could only program the tags to activate a single phone function at a time, although you had a vast array of actions to choose from. You could program a TecTile to check you in to Foursquare with a tap, but you couldn't program it to check you in to Foursquare AND download the menu.
The new TecTile 3.0 mobile app unlocks the ability to program multiples actions to a TecTile; for example, a well-programmed TecTile can now silence your phone, dim its light and disable the Wi-Fi radio simultaneously with a single tap. Perhaps more intriguingly, the app update allows a solitary TecTile to enable different functions on different phones.
The last example takes advantage of another new feature: the ability to store multiple "Profiles" within the Samsung TecTile app, which can then be loaded when the NFC-enabled phone is tapped against a TecTile programmed to activate that profile. In Samsung's example, office workers each set personalized "Meeting" profiles in-app -- with some choosing to completely silence their phones, others choosing to set their handsets to vibrate, and so on -- which are in turn activated by tapping the preprogrammed "Meeting" TecTile outside the conference room.
Other enhancements include a stored log of every TecTile tag you've programmed, the ability to create private TecTile tags that can only be read by the sticker's owner, and a host of new programmable actions, many of which tie into functioning with Google's ecosystem of functions.
The TecTile 3.0 app is now available in the Google Play Store. Any NFC-enabled Android phone can download the free app, but you'll need to buy a pack of TecTile tags if you want to put the app to work. TecTiles are available online at Samsung.com or through Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile at $14.99 for a 5 pack.