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New Mod Allows for NFC Actions While Screen is Off

When performing Near Field Communication (NFC) actions on our capable devices, the display must be on. Don’t know why exactly that is, but it’s just one of the rules. Well, thanks to a new mod from an XDA member, having the display on is no longer needed. After installing a new NFC.apk, you can simply tap your TecTiles or Android Beam with other users without having to unlock your device.

The mod is available so far for the Galaxy Nexus line of devices, the HTC One X, the Galaxy SIII, and the Nexus S. If you want to give it a go, then follow the via link down below.

Via: XDA

Cheers Ryun!

  • Steve

    Exactly what I was looking for. If you have used NFC on your phone, you can see that there is no real security issue, but I am not about to try to convince anyone if they think it is. I’m no internet warrior.

  • jstew182

    How close do NFC tags have to be in order for it to trigger?

  • http://twitter.com/_OMJ_ OMJ

    Especially if you are using CM9 which has profiles that can be changed via nfc tag this is a really bad idea. Personally I wouldnt use this on any device personally just cause who knows what you could accidentally do.

  • http://twitter.com/tadejkolino Tadej Rudec

    Sweet one, hope this gets added to CM9 repo

  • ABerry5

    cmon tim why do you think… security

  • DrMacinyasha

    I compiled maguro/toro versions of AOKP with this added. Links and details:
    http://rootzwiki.com/topic/28038-nfc-actions-while-screen-off-or-locked-its-now-possible/#entry748431

  • fixxmyhead

    No hercules love?

  • Jonathan

    Yeeeah, as cool as the convenience would be, this doesn’t sound like a very good idea. It seems unlikely anything bad would actually come of it, but there’s no need for me to invite trouble, either.

  • Travis Baughn

    i bet this would prevent deep sleep

  • http://profiles.google.com/zkolev Zack Kolev

    I hope it doesn’t break my Google Wallet…

  • nightscout13

    There’s a TROLL among us.

  • Jack Hoffman

    It is that way for security, but it’s a little overzealous.

    However, I tried this mod and it broke my NFC. FC’d everytime I tried to read or write a tag.
    I was running AOKP b39 and had to restore my nandroid to fix as even flashing the stock nfc.apk didn’t fix the issue.

    • Kit

      RUNNING AOKP 39 on my TORO.
      The lockscreen versionworked fine.

  • i don’t think so

    seems like a bad idea. I don’t want to NFC random people while walking in NYC. who knows what information they can steal from this

  • burntcookie90

    It’s like that for security…

    • http://www.tedpavlic.com/ Ted Pavlic

      Agreed. However, I think you could have your cake and eat it too if you could configure some TecTiles to require the screen to be on and others not. That way automation that’s pretty safe (e.g., toggling auto-brightness or something) not require the screen to be on but other things (e.g., toggling Bluetooth?) require the screen to be on.

      But I don’t think that’s built into the TecTiles configuration tool (which probably assumes screen is always on). That would have to be an addon — a checkbox like “only do this task if activated while screen is on.”

      • bbbb

        i think the main thing is allowing other people’s nfc tags performing functions on your phone without you being able to control it.

        I’m not entirely sure capabilities of this, but i know this is an draw back of nfc credit cards – where someone can get close enough to you and steal the card number through the nfc capabilities… atleast so I’ve heard

        • http://www.tedpavlic.com/ Ted Pavlic

          In most cases (e.g., TexTiles), actions are not encoded in the tags themselves. The tags just have unique identifiers (long numbers, essentially) in them. You then tell your phone that when it is in range (which is very short) of one of these long numbers, it should do an action of *your* choice. So if someone comes by with a tag with a different number on it, your phone ignores it.

          The only risk is if someone knows that you’ve programmed your phone to do something dangerous when in range of a particular publicly available tag. Then that person could, in theory, copy the number from that tag and rebroadcast it… but their phone would have to be very close to your phone (or they’d have to have some sort of highly directional NFC antenna). But these tags can be relatively smart. That is, they can use cryptography to exchange their ID’s in a way that makes it difficult if not impossible to steal the ID and re-transmit.

          In the case of a credit card, the problem is that the plastic credit card has no way to prompt you to authorize the transaction… so it just transmits your CC information to whoever prompts it. Here, you’re not going to walk by someone’s phone and convince Google Wallet to start up and start dishing out credit card info.

    • Jeff Tycz

      Yeah….I would not do this, its like how it is for a reason

  • Jigga_Z

    I can’t imagine that it would, but this wouldn’t trip the secure element, would it?

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    The screen being on is a security feature. It means you have to be aware that an NFC action is happening, and it won’t randomly happen on a crowded bus with your phone in your pocket.

    • nightscout13

      Correct. I’m surprised
      Tim-o-tato couldn’t figure that one out.

      • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

        I guess I meant why is there no option that allows for us to have more control over NFC functionality on our devices. :)

        • nightscout13

          Oh ok, thanks for clarifying.

          • pezjono

            How dare thee question Tato!
            J/Ks! Lolsey.

        • http://www.tedpavlic.com/ Ted Pavlic

          Agreed. Some actions trigger all the time and others trigger only when other conditions are met (e.g., screen on, phone unlocked, etc.). That would be much more useful.

    • Jason James

      Have you used nfc? you damn near have to be touching the phone if it’s in a purse that person has a strong ass tag. If it’s in your pocket face the back to your leg or just don’t use it. not everyone uses a bus or lives in New York and not everyone has nfc, rooted phone and has this mod

      • http://www.tedpavlic.com/ Ted Pavlic

        You could have it both ways. The TecTiles app could have a box tied to each task that’s checked if you allow it to be activated at all times and unchecked if you only want it to be activated when the screen is on…

  • j__h

    Does this raise power consumption when screen is off?