How to make tags that use launchers

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How to make tags that use launchers

How to make tags that use launchers

NFC Tag Series: Programming an NFC Tag Part 1 – Tags that need Launchers

Ok, I know most of you are pretty averse to the term ‘programming’, but it is not the complex programming that you may be thinking about. On this edition, we will be talking about the ways you can enter data into your NFC tag.

Now, you are correct in assuming that inputting data manually to an NFC tag is rather complex and it indeed involves some level of skill. Thankfully, we live in an app centric world now. There is now an app for that – or several.

We will be talking about the most popular NFC programming tools that should make your life with NFC that much smoother. You will find that it is as simple as selecting options on your smartphone once we are done.

NFC Task Launcher

As you would notice starting from the first example, usually the program that writes on NFC tags is also responsible for launching it. NFC Task Launcher is considered the most popular of the NFC related applications out there. They have the most comprehensive list of actions that you can program on your NFC Tag.

NFC Tags have a limited memory. Usually, they would go for 26 bytes and up. As you can imagine, most of the time, your tags are small and thin as in the case of the NFC Stickers. These tags can’t hold too much data, and some of them can’t hold complete business cards. The limit of the tasks you can do is determined by the tag itself.

Writing on NFC Task Launcher

To write a code to your NFC tag through this app, you have to first decide what to do. For now, let’s just allow the tag to turn on the Bluetooth when you tap your phone on your tag.

First, you need to have a programmable tag. In this case, I am using the branded Sony Xperia Smart Tags. This tag has something pre-coded on it already, so I had to erase the data. We will talk about erasing data later. Do note that you don’t have to erase the data on a tag to write on a non-write protected tag.

Programming an NFC Tag 1

To write a tag, open the app and choose the plus button on the upper right side.





Programming an NFC Tag 2There should be a good list of options that will pop up for now. For the benefit of this first time tutorial, let’s use the most basic option: ‘New Task’






Programming an NFC Tag 3It should take you to the next screen, where you need to figure out what you want to write on your tag. Since our goal is to make the tag enable Bluetooth when tapped, let’s name the tag “BluetoothON”. You can change the name to whichever one you prefer.

After choosing the name, go ahead and choose “Add Actions” to add your very first task for your NFC tag.











Programming an NFC Tag 4A list should appear on the display showing the category of actions you can perform with your NFC Tag. For the sake of this tutorial, go ahead and choose “Wireless & Networks”.













A new list should appear below it, showing the many tasks you could perform under the “Wireless & Networks” category. At this point, you should tick the “Bluetooth On/Off” box then choose Next.

Programming an NFC Tag 5




Programming an NFC Tag 6

This should cause a popup to appear, giving you two options. Since the option you chose before was “Bluetooth On/Off”, this prompt will ask you which of the two actions you would want to write. The three options are Enable, Disable, Toggle.

Since our goal right now is just to turn on Bluetooth when the phone is tapped, you can choose “Enable”, then choose OK.






Programming an NFC Tag 7The end of this process should look like the one to the right, where the option we chose earlier is listed as an action next to the space required to write the action. This will allow you to calculate if your tag can handle the size of the actions you would write to it. If you add more actions, then naturally, more information will be listed.

From here, go ahead and choose “Save & Write” so we can begin writing our task on your tag.







Programming an NFC Tag 8On this page, you only need to tap the tag at the back of your device (or wherever the NFC Chip is located) and it will write the action you programmed.










That’s it. It may seem like a lengthy process, but it is shorter if you are no longer reading the instructions. At this point, feel free to experiment on the other functions of this App. Tags written though this app can only be executed by devices with NFC chips and have this app installed.

There are many more apps out there just like the NFC Tag Writer. This is only the most popular NFC Tag launcher system in the Play Store as of the moment, so we went ahead and used this for the tutorial. You can explore other apps in the Play Store such as Samsung’s own TecTiles, and the Sony’s limited Smart Connect app.


Check out the other topics of this series:

NFC Tag Series: Introduction to NFC
NFC Tag Series: Which NFC Tag to get?
NFC Tag Series: Programming an NFC Tag Part 2: Tags that don’t need Launchers
NFC Tag Series: Programming an NFC Tag Part 3: Making a Switch Tag

1 Comment

  1. Yoransays: December 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Task Launcher has been renamed to Trigger

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