With the latest update to Windows 10, Microsoft brought out some new features to the table. Among those are NFC Tap-to-Send file sharing capabilities on supported hardware. This feature had previously been available in Windows 8.1 but was removed with Windows 10 due to low adoption rates of NFC capable smartphones at that time.
How does it work?
Once you have NFC capabilities on your PC, you can tap your phone against it to establish a connection over Bluetooth. Once that is done the file sharing begins. You will be able to access stored photos or files even without an internet connection on your phone. This feature also works on Windows Mobile devices with Windows 10 Mobile installed.
What are NFC capable devices?
It is currently up to mobile developers which phone models support this protocol. Most Android-based smartphones should be compatible with tap and pay protocols so you can expect devices from Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. to have the feature enabled by default on supported hardware. Apple’s iPhones so far do not support NFC protocols.
There are some other parameters that need to be met though, such as the phone having Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) capabilities and Microsoft account registration for this service. Some older Android models may not meet all these requirements and will work only in connection with a WiFi network – but we don’t expect this to be much of an issue considering the popularity of NFC-enabled Android phones.
Is it safe to use?
Although one should always take precautions for personal data, rest assured that this is a much safer option than using USB connection sharing. This protocol doesn’t allow any other access to your phone apart from file transfers so no additional apps can be installed to your phone without the permission of the user.
Do I need to install any additional software?
No, there are no additional services or apps to install on your phone – you simply have to turn NFC capabilities on, pair your PC with it and then start sharing files. There are some other protocols that can be used for this purpose but NFC is the most widely used and supported by all major smartphone manufacturers.
Is this a Microsoft exclusive?
Not exactly, although Windows Phone does have its fair share of users compared to other mobile operating systems, there are third-party apps for Android and iOS allowing file sharing between devices. Some of these also support Bluetooth so you don’t need NFC capabilities on your phone. We recommend trying out ShareIt as it is very easy to use and also allows for transferring of files between Windows, Android, and iOS.