Share this Story

Video: Ice Cream Sandwich’s Beam in Action on the Galaxy Nexus

One of the more talked about features from the Ice Cream Sandwich event in Hong Kong was Beam, the NFC-based information sharing tool. If you have a phone with an NFC chip running Android 4.0, you can share information with another phone who has the same capabilities. The possibilities will eventually be almost endless, but for now, you can send things like Maps listings or directions, Market app pages, contacts and even Facebook friends.

Since we have two phones (Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S) with NFC chips and version of ICS, we were able to demo Beam in the video below. It should be fun come Friday when the world is running around beaming info to each other. 


  • Palm had this feature via infrared beaming

  • Tneel317

    Okaaaayyyyyyyyyy, BUT, its kinda pointless if the friend isn’t with you. If your friend is at your house and you’re going to this bar, why tap phones? Why not follow each other. My point is, is that it would be cool to be able to *beam* them the info somehow when they are NOT with you. Make sense?

  • Nickles96

    Can you Beam actual files as well?  instead of just simple things like Map or market links, i wonder if you can beam word docs, mp3s, jpgs, etc…    Anyone know?

  • Umsheikh

    where can i find the wallpaper that you are using on GN?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    It gets boring pretty quick!

  • Anonymous

    This thing may be a disappointment like the fascinate was in Verizon. Let’s wait and see.

    • It won’t. Its not even close to fascinate.

      • Anonymous

        lets see about that when it comes out .

    • Guest

      STFU!!………………………………………………and  go suck your own dick. cum slurper!!!

  • eze4

    They’re clearly too many lames & virgins posting on this site. Kellex lets exterminate these clowns. Half of you don’t even have the money to purchase the phone, you all just wanna be seen.

  • Anonymous

    Or you could use Bump which has been out for ages…maybe not with all the same functions but it works well and doesn’t require a phone with an NFC chip.

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    Seems like I can do the same thing just by sharing whatever I want by sending a link by email or mms. 8^/

    Unlimited data for the mutha fukkin’ win!

  • Suzmoss

    Does anyone remember that Palm Pilots used to be able to “beam” contacts to each other many many years ago?  I was wondering when the newer phones were going to remember to do that.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see why newer phones got rid of the IR transmitter.

      Built in TV remote control! Who wouldn’t love that?

  • Anonymous

    How close do the phones need to be? Do they have to be physically touching?

    • Peesa

      Yes, mostly. The NFC antennas have to be very close for it to work.

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t this like bump?

    • Peesa

      Yes, except Bump uses a data connection so you have to have access to data in order to use it. Beam doesn’t need data as it uses NFC, which means you can use it even if you don’t get coverage.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry for the lame question, but whats NFC again? and can you download Beam from market?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been playing with this feature with my Nexus S and my friends. This is seriously the future of data transfer! It’s amazing, I can’t wait to see it expand to other things like sharing photos.

    • tommycallahanjr

      Soo you definitely cant do photos? I was looking forward to photos~~! :o(

  • b00ky

    I think this is a great feature to have available, but I hope they add an option to “Accept” what is being sent rather than it just being accepted automatically.

  • I still don’t get why beam is useful really other than a neat trick. Couldn’t you share something and get the same results without having to touch phones and not requiring NFC to do it?

    • Dirk Diggler

      I think its really something that is only useful if almost everybody has it.

      • Exactly, how many people are going to have a Galaxy Nexus, let alone a phone that has NFC? Not too many people other than us nerds, I’d say.

    • Dominick DeVito

      no need to send anything over the network – I guess that’s the real advantage. Plus, it’s kinda brainless (or easier to do then trying to send something).

  • Benjamin Mackie

    Friday friday, gonna get the nexus on friday….. im gonna play with it all weekend, weekend. Friday friday, gonna get the nexus on friday…

    • Some Random Dude

      Rebecca black remix? :b  

  • Dominick DeVito

    quick – before VZW tries to capitalize on this too!

  • Glen E Ston

    White Galaxy Nexus please! That Nexus S is freaking SEX.

  • Mark

    “Scotty beamed me twice last night…it was wonderful”

    • Bob Johnson


    • bigrob60

      Why didn’t somebody tell me my ass was so huge!

  • mcadam

    Kellen, what if both phones have a different contact or market app open?  How does it know who wants to send what?

    • logic tells me that it would open up the beam option for both and whoever clicks it first sends the beam. if they click together they should xfer the information to each other. 
      there shouldnt be much thought involved with tech like this. it should be made so that dumbass 14 year old girls can use it. 

  • Anonymous

    If only I had friends to try this with.

  • Paul Vartanian

    How future future proof do you think the Galaxy Nexus is?

  • galaxynexusprime

    Jesus, the Nexus looks tiny in your hands!

    • Most W4nted 1

      You mad, Bro?

  • Cam

    This and face unlock are two features I just don’t see over using.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. They’ve caught up to my retired Palm Vx

  • 28

    er.. how is this different then “bump”?

    • bigrob60

      Who want’s to bump when you can beam, Star Trek style.

    • Kierra

      I want to know also

    • you don’t need NFC to use bump

    • ramifications

      Bump transfers through your carrier’s network or wifi. Also, you need to both have the app.

      This is a direct connection using NFC.

      • Kierra

        So nothing really? 
        I was meaning does this do anything Bump cant?

  • potacho

    I’m so gonna gingerly touch tips once enough people have NFC chips.

  • Kierra

    So you have to physically connect the phones to do this? 
    Thats not really beaming, more like bumping to me. 

  • Anonymous

    is it friday yet?

  • droidrev71

    Anyone live near me want to demo android beam on Friday?.. lol

    • Dirk Diggler

      Yea sounds fun! We can all get a room have and have a huge beam party while we feed each other ice cream sandwiches. Mmm

      • bigrob60

        Don’t forget to put a plastic cover on the bed.

        • Dirk Diggler

          Are we still talking about the phones? lol

          • bigrob60

            Weather you are or not, I don’t know. I was just giving some tips so the cleanup will be easy. Nothing worse then sticky bed sheets. :p

  • Anonymous

    I noticed that when you sent the fake contact the image didn’t go with it.  Does the contact’s image not get transferred?   

  • A/S/L?

    • Anonymous


  • Just to be annoying, can you test how close the phones actually have to “touch” in order to beam stuff? It seems fairly cheesy and stupid to touch them back to back like that — I can just picture people awkwardly standing in a room doing this. Can you just touch the tops of the phones (where the speakers are) or set one phone on top of the other (back to screen), etc.?

    • Anonymous

      The proximity needs to stay very limited in order to keep people from being able to do shady crap to your phone without you knowing it.  If someone could just walk by me on the subway and send whatever to my phone, that would be a problem.

      • Not necessarily. Your phone needs to be enabled to accept it — not only does the chip need to be on, but software wise, they can’t perhaps install something on your phone through beam, since that is not supported. The worst I could think of that is actually possible is an embarrassing website. Plus, I am not suggesting that it work from a few feet away, I am just wondering if touching the tops of phones — something that would be much more natural — would work.

    • Anonymous

      My question would be does this still work with a hard case on the device…Guess we will have to wait untill Friday to find out. Ill surely be dissappointed if not.

  • Anonymous

    My mother would love this feature…. She would make me beam stuff with her all the time if she found out phones could do this…. I’m very scared for my future.

    • Anonymous

      Huh huh, you said “Your mom would make you beam her”, Huh

  • Anonymous

    Wow, so you can stand next to some hot chick that also has a Nexus or the NFC chip and send her your digits,  Niiicccceeee 🙂

  • Dan Thompson

    can anything larger be shared? 

    • Anonymous

      you can share my epeen through beam, it’s pretty large

      • galaxynexusprime

        Ohh. You’re THAT guy. The one that thinks he’s clever but just… sounds dumb. 

        • Anonymous

          Yeah and you’re the tough guy behind a keyboard that insults people in blog comments during the 30 second breaks you take from playing World of Warcraft in your grandma’s basement.

    • Not yet, just simple things. No file sharing or anything.

      • Anonymous

        Wonder if it will work with a hard case on the device…

      • David Salsburg

        thanks just saw your answer here. my original post can then be ignored.

  • Anon

    Would this work at a checkout stand if you had Google Wallet enabled or ISIS (when it comes out)?

  • Sir Lawrence

    Wow that works really smoothly!

  • Was that some standard contact picture or does the contact picture just not get transfarred when “beamed”?

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what Capt Kirk would think of that Beam 😛

  • gadgetryan

    I cant wait!!

  • Goblueboy

    Oh yeah my girlfriend beamed me so hard last night

    • uhhhhh

    • bigrob60

      Shouldn’t it be the other way around? 

      • Anonymous

        Thats what I was thinking! still funny though 😛

      • Goblueboy

        I’m talking about beaming, wtf are you talking about

        • Kakashiisagod

          She called it beaming too…

    • Most W4nted 1

      Is it weird that she beamed me too right after?!

  • Anonymous


    • John

      cool but dunno about amazing

      • Anonymous


  • Ed

    The problem is most phones don’t have NFC 🙁 and my friends have either BB or ios

    • Anonymous

      Or ICS.

    • I don’t have the issue with BB or IOS but yeah most of my friends don’t/wont have an NFC chip for a long while

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like you need new friends. 😀

      • Kakashiisagod


    •  Get new friends!

  • OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG (little school girls voice waving both hands)

    • Christephor

      i feel like a little girl at a justin beiber concert regarding this phone