When I bought the Samsung Galaxy S5, it came with some TecTiles NFC stickers (MSRP $15) for free. They are programmable stickers that use NFC to change settings or launch apps on your phone. To use, download the TecFiles app, then launch the app and you will see your tasks home page (left). It comes pre-configured with 3 default tasks (home, car, office).
A “task” can contain multiple functions inside. To create a new one, touch “New Task”, then name the task, then you will see “Select actions” screen (center image). From here, pick from one of the 4 option types:
- Settings – Allows you to change the phone settings (e.g. brightness, volume, WiFi, ringer)
- Phone – Allows you to do smartphone functions as shown in the right image below (e.g. make a call, send e-mail, play music)
- Application – Run Any application
- SNS – Social Network Services (Share on Facebook, Send Tweet)
After you are done, you can change the order or delete items in the task list. Then touch “Write to Tag” at the bottom to program your tasks to the TecTiles sticker by putting the phone right on the sticker. The stickers are re-programmable unless you set it to “read-only.” Now place your sticker somewhere and touch your phone to it when you want to execute the task items on the sticker.
After using it for a week, (spoiler alert) I stopped using it. There are 2 problems that came up. The first problem is when you put the phone up to the sticker, it takes a few seconds for the phone to recognize and read it. This is very annoying when you are in a hurry, like when you get in your car. The second problem is every time I wanted to make a little change, I had to re-program the sticker, which is a process in itself. And this time, the sticker is already in it’s location so you have to take your phone there for the re-programming.
Android already has a “car mode” which detects the Bluetooth of your car and switches modes. So you really don’t need yet another way to go into “car mode.” Also, the Android settings are so easy to modify by swiping your finger down from the top of the screen at any time, there’s really no need to have a sticker that just turns WiFi on or off.
Since I started using the Pressy Button, I really have no use for these stickers. It’s a lot easier to press a button on my phone than taking my phone to a sticker. Pressy, yes. TecTiles, no.