Android 2.3.3 gets near-field communications

Google has outed a feature release of its open source OS for mobile phones which adds new near-field communications capabilities.

Version 2.3 of the operating system included limited NFC APIs, but the point release to 2.3.3 adds a comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today, advanced 'Intent dispatching' that gives apps more control over how and when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range, and some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.

Google says it expects most Android devices to ship with version 2.3.3 or later and has also released an updated SDK to reflect the changes.

Near-field communication allows contactless payments and proximity-based applications to run on mobile devices and is widely predicted to be the Next Big Thing in smartphone technology.