If you need front-facing NFC reading capability on a device with a rear-facing reader, want a higher performance NFC reader than your device’s built-in reader, or simply want to be able to read NFC tags on a device that has no on-board NFC reader, this open-source app allows you to to leverage the TappyBLE and TappyUSB lines of Bluetooth NFC readers without having to go through the effort of integrating with the full Tappy SDK.
In order to use the Tappy External NFC app, you first must use the app to search for and connect to the TappyBLE or TappyUSB readers you wish to use. After that, the app will maintain the connection and attempt to reconnect if the connection ever drops. For those use-cases that only require the Android device to launch URLs read from tag, you don’t even need to do anything else as, as the Tappy External NFC app has this functionality built-in!
For more advanced uses, your app needs to register a BroadcastReceiver listening for intents with the action “com.taptrack.roaring.action.TAG_FOUND”, “com.taptrack.roaring.action.NDEF_FOUND”, or both. When the Tappy finds a tag, the app will broadcast one of these two Intents depending on whether or not the tag contains an NDEF message. Once received, the intent will contain NfcAdapter.EXTRA_ID containing the tag’s binary serial number and, in the case of NDEF_FOUND, NfcAdapter.EXTRA_NDEF_MESSAGES just like the intents you would receive from an on-board NFC reader.
Note that this app is not compatible with UID-only TappyBLEs and requires at least version 1.4 of the BasicNFC command family. If you wish to use this application with older model Tappies, you can download the project from GitHub and modify it yourself or contact us to see if we can provide a version to suit your needs.
In addition to the core external NFC application, we also have written an example application that listens for the intents sent out by the Tappy External NFC application and displays the information received in a simple view similar to Android’s built in tag viewer application. Just like the external NFC application itself, the listener app is open-source and is included in the same repository on GitHub, so feel free to use it as a base or simply as a reference for your own Tappy External NFC application.