Apple’s decision earlier this year to open up NFC readability on the iPhone, has touched off a wave of NFC app development. With all of the different options now becoming available, how do you select which app to use with your tags? We at Tagstand have our favorites. In today’s blog, we’ll introduce you to Simply NFC, and its creator, Mr. David Berroa. Read on to hear more about his exciting addition to the world of NFC!
Hi David; please tell us a little about yourself, and your connection to the world of NFC. How did you get started?
“My name is David and I have been a developer for over 10 years. I’ve always wanted to get into coding at a young age with the goal of becoming a video game programmer. After the release of the iPhone 3GS, I bought a Mac and self-taught myself mobile development. I later branched out into learning and developing for Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry 10. After creating a few apps, I started my company Lakeside Llama LLC to put all my apps and games under one company.
I got started in the world of NFC when I was developing for Android. I found documentation on NFC and thought it sounded interesting so I purchased an NFC starter pack and tried writing some tags. I was able to trigger events on my phone and have quick access to websites at the tap of a tag. I couldn’t wait until the iPhone (being my main phone) could support NFC as well, so I can perform the same tasks on iOS that I could on Android. As of iOS 11, iPhone’s can now read NFC chips with an app.”
What inspired/fueled you to create Simply NFC? What problems or issues does this app aim to solve?
“I’ve felt that true adoption of NFC couldn’t happen until iPhones supported it, which would allow almost anyone to be able to use an NFC tag in the wild. As of iOS 11 this is possible with an app. Since Apple did not build it into their operating system, it would be up to app developers to make iPhone NFC as close to Android as possible. I wanted to make sure it was done the way I envisioned it. My ultimate goal for Simply NFC is to make it into simply the best NFC app on the iPhone.
The app does more than just scan a tag and then redirect to a website. It reads the content of the tag and automatically brings up the interface best able to handle the content. For example, if a vCard contact tag is scanned, it automatically displays the contact card import page with all the information from the tag already pre-filled. Other apps would just display the text. The one major capability that I wanted to adopt from Android that I know NO OTHER iPhone NFC app has, is home automation support. Simply NFC allows the user to configure a tag to trigger Apple HomeKit scenes to control their home at the tap of a tag. As mentioned before, no other iOS NFC app supports this.”
Watch this in action here:
Are there other unique traits that make this app stand out amongst the others? What can it do that others can’t?
“As we discussed above, no other app can trigger HomeKit scenes to control your home. Another feature is the ability to scan multiple tags at once, displaying all the tags together in the end result. Simply NFC handles text tags, SMS tags, e-mail Tags, telephone tags, smart poster tags, website tags, app launching tags, location tags, vCard contact tags, and Simply NFC HomeKit Tags. You can see examples of this here:”
“Simply NFC also supports 3D touch to quickly open the app to scanning mode by hard pressing the app icon. You can also trigger the app to start scanning at a distance by using the companion Apple Watch app.
Another neat feature I enabled is an app URL scheme which allows developers to open my app using a URL scheme and get the result of the app’s next scan redirected to them. This gives websites the flexibility to allow users to open Simply NFC on their phone, scan a tag, and then have the tag content sent back to that website to process. This provides other developers with a means to offer NFC scanning without needing to code their own app.”
Are there any other notable elements about Simply NFC that you’d like people to know about?
“You can find us on the App Store by searching “Simply NFC”. It is a fully-featured, free app. For future updates, I plan to show technical tag details for advanced users. If Apple ever makes writing NFC tags available to developers, I will update the app to include the ability to write every one of the tag types that the app supports. All planned updates will continue to be free.”
Lastly, what led you to get in touch with Tagstand? How do we help advance your mission and vision?
“I wanted to spread NFC to businesses, and help them to integrate NFC into their marketing and products to enhance the commodities they already have. To this end, some partners and I created another company specifically for NFC software and products called Tap Tag Technology. We work with Tagstand to help bring our clients the highest quality NFC tags. We chose Tagstand over other competitors for two main reasons: price and service. As one of their clients, the price has been very good for our own bulk orders of products, and we are pleased with the print quality of the items we’ve received. For service, we love the fact we can reach out to them for price quotes or with any questions we may have; and quickly receive an answer that almost always solves whatever issue we present. Tagstand allows us to deliver top-notch NFC products in conjunction with our proprietary back-end software. All Tagstand tags are fully compatible with Simply NFC’s reader.”
We sincerely thank David for taking time to share his thoughts with us. To find the Simply NFC app, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simply-nfc/id1262550712?mt=8