Samsung introduces TecTiles 2 for Galaxy S4, previous TecTiles no longer compatible



Looks like there were more than just the usual system components that were upgraded in the Samsung Galaxy S4 than we previously thought. Because of a change to the NFC controller component found inside the Galaxy S4 (NXP PN544 to Broadcom’s BCM2079x), it looks like GS4 will no longer be able to read Samsung’s current NFC tags dubbed “TecTiles.”

Chances are you received a handful of these when you signed up to receive the Samsung’s free Flip Case for registering your device not too long ago. Well, if you’ve got these strewn about the house to help make your smartphone life more automated, it’s time to rip ’em out and start over.

Samsung is introducing all new TecTiles 2 for use with the Samsung Galaxy S4 moving forward, and will be making them available shortly. The boys at AnandTech note that some TecTiles — not marked as TecTiles 2 — may have slipped out onto the market, so you might want to test ’em out before tossing them in the bin. Just to be on the safe side.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. So v2 has new features right and it’s not the same thing but incompatible with the old stuff?

  2. Not trying to sound mean, but do people actually actually buy these things? I feel like these TecTiles are the kind of things I would have to think hard about taking from some random person handing them out for free in a mall.

    1. NFC tags are gimmicy right now but they work and they work well…

      1. Yeah I often use NFC but mostly at gas stations and McDonald’s. These tags seem ridiculous but to each their own.

        1. I have one set up with my z-wave home automation. As I drive down the road going home I can put my phone up to the tag and it will open my garage door and turn on the lights. When I get my Lockitron door lock it will also unlock my door for me.

    2. i love them i have one in my car programed to open play music so i just plug in the aux cord and tap my phone and i got music

    3. I use them. It’s best for Puzzle Alarm Clock.

  3. This is pretty infuriating, because NFC hasn’t changed so there is no reason for Samsung to tack on a layer that makes one NFC chip different than another. This will only hurt the potential for NFC to gain any adoption.

    TecTiles should be no more than a branded NFC tag (~1kB) and an app to program/respond to them. NFC tags can hold arbitrary data up to their capacity and even indicate the type of data they hold, so there’s no excuse for a lack of backwards compatibility than laziness or greed.

  4. So do older Sammy devices read the new tiles?

  5. FYI: The old mifare tags will still work JUST FINE in the vast majority of use cases, as long as the NFC app you’re using was written by someone competent enough to handle ’em, like NFC Task Launcher is. Instead of directly writing data to the 1k area, the app simply stores the data (if necessary) in a local db and associates the tag id with it.

    If you’re wanting to share the actual data with other people (like vcards, but who does that?), then you’ll need newer tags.

  6. This is so lame. I have all these tectiles and none of them will work with future devices?!

  7. TecTiles is an anagram for testicle.

  8. Making NFC proprietary?! SHAME SHAME SHAME!

  9. Only my Note 2 could properly use TecTiles I programmed with the GN2. Or I could use another app to program them and the GN2 wouldn’t read them without that program. Kind of silly all around. In the end, it was worthless enough that I don’t bother using any NFC tags. And since Tmo doesn’t allow the use of Wallet on a stock GN2, NFC is useless to me.

  10. I got the free Tec tiles with the flip case, but have never found them to be more convenient then creating a llama shortcut. this whole compatibility thing is ridiculous and will definitely cause the technology user base to slow in adopting it

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