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What You’ll Get

When you’re done, you’ll have a few small stick-on tiles placed strategically around your house, car, office, or anywhere else you want. Holding your phone up to one of these tags will perform a simple action right away, so you don’t have to constantly fiddle with settings. For example, you could:

Turn on your ringer and Wi-Fi when you return home
Turn off the ringer and set your alarm when you go to bed
Start the Maps app and turn on Bluetooth when you get in your car
Launch your remote control app when you sit down on the couch to watch TV
Set a timer for 30 minutes when you put your clothes in the laundry
Start playing music or skip tracks
Check in to Foursquare, Facebook, or Google Latitude at your current location

…all with a quick tap of your phone. No need to open any menus, or tweak any settings yourself.

Some of you Android fans may recognize some of these ideas as things you can automate with Tasker, and that’s true. Apps like Tasker can do similar things based on location, what networks you’re connected to, the time of day, and more. What’s great about NFC tags is that they allow you do perform similar tasks in situations where Tasker isn’t as good at automating. For example, Tasker doesn’t always know when you’re in your car, or when you sit down to watch TV. In those cases, these little NFC tags are perfect. In fact, with this method, you can even launch a Tasker task by placing your phone next to an NFC tag, so the two work phenomenally well together.
Step One: Get Some NFC Tags
To start, of course, you’ll need to pick up some NFC tags (usually for a dollar or two apiece) that you can program with your desired actions. You’ll find a number of differen brands out there, but both TagsForDroid tags and Samsung TecTiles are very popular and come highly recommended. We used the Samsung tags for this tutorial, but you can use another brand if you so choose. Most tags come in a number of forms, too, like stickers, keychains, and more.