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Samsung updates app to automate smartphone functions with NFC

Users can program an NFC tag to turn on Bluetooth and launch the navigation app when entering a car.

Samsung Telecommunications America has upgraded the TecTile application, which programs NFC stickers to automate functions on its smartphones.

The most talked-about application for NFC (Near Field Communication) is payments. But the technology can be used for other things, which Samsung is taking advantage of with TecTile mobile app and its programmable NFC stickers, which users can place on surfaces where they want to trigger certain actions.

Version 3.0 of the app was released on Wednesday and adds a number of new ways to customize the stickers, including the addition of Airplane mode to the list of features that can be controlled, more comprehensive alarm settings and the ability to automatically change a ringtone.

The TecTile application can now be used to program a sticker to perform multiple actions. For example, users can turn on Bluetooth and launching the Navigation app when entering a car. Users can also configure different profiles -- such as normal, office and night -- and use different stickers in various locations to switch between them during the day.

The application is used to program the stickers, but isn't needed to read them. A sticker can be locked to prevent others from changing the actions they perform, and made private so that only the owner's phone can read them.

The stickers are compatible with a number of NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung, including the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Nexus.

Priced at US$14.99 for a pack of five, they are available at Samsung.com as well as online and in-store from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The Samsung TecTile 3.0 mobile app is available for free on Google's Play store.

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