One of the new technologies introduced with Gingerbread is the ability to read NFC chips (like a barcode scanner that uses radio waves instead of lines). Later we learned that the NFC chip in the Nexus S includes hidden NFC writing capabilities, in addition to its touted reading capabilities.
Access to the writing capabilities isn’t documented, which means developers who want to tap into the writing capabilities risk their apps breaking when things change. Luckily, that’s no longer a concern.
Most Android users aren’t running Gingerbread yet. Those who are likely have Android 2.3.2. Google is releasing an update to Gingerbread, 2.3.3, that will open up NFC features.
To get started today, developers can develop their apps using API level 10. Doing so will allow them access to:
– A comprehensive NFC reader/writer API that lets apps read and write to almost any standard NFC tag in use today.
– Advanced Intent dispatching that gives apps more control over how/when they are launched when an NFC tag comes into range.
– Some limited support for peer-to-peer connection with other NFC devices.
Of course only end-users running Android 2.3.3 devices that include a supported NFC chip will be able to run apps used to take advantage of the new API, but it’s a start.
Source: Android Developers