As the percentage of newer Android devices with NFC chips gets higher and higher, so too does the number of people actually using it. It is no surprise to learn that NFC-based development is on the rise, and will likely continue until the dedicated developers have perfected usage of the technology. That said, it’s not quite perfect for some who would rather have NFC functionality when the screen is off or locked. This no longer has to be the case for owners of the International Samsung Galaxy S III and a couple of the US variants.
XDA Forum Member mayhemer has developed a modification enables NFC functionality when the screen is off and the device is locked. The mod is available for the International Galaxy S III, as well as the AT&T and Sprint variants.
To install the mod, users only need to flash the mod in custom recovery and reboot. Afterward, NFC should be usable even with the phone screen off or locked down. Unfortunately for CM fans, there are currently some compatibility problems with CyanogenMod 9. The mod for US variants is currently untested, so it’s unclear what works and what doesn’t. It has also been announced that any further compatibility—i.e. the other US variants—and bug fixes will have to wait until August. Additionally, it should be noted that it’s unclear how this will affect applications like Google Wallet. Since NFC is active with the phone screen off, that could make Google Wallet accessible even while in your pocket. While users still have to enter in a pin to use the actual Wallet app, this potentially removes one barrier to Wallet entry. Basically, be sure to take proper precautions.
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