6. NFC-enabled for a cashless future
Still noticeable by its absence in iOS devices, the potential uses for NFC are many. The most significant use for NFC is in cashless payment systems, such as Google Wallet, which is already accelerating our move towards a cashless society, but its implementation goes far beyond that.
By checking in to an NFC tag with an enabled phone, it is possible to automate tasks. An NFC tag on your desk could, when triggered, automatically show your diary for the day. An NFC point at your reception would allow customers to obtain a digital visitor's pass.
The simple act of two radio-enabled chips touching has endless possibilities and – as more and more devices have them, particularly within the realms of the Internet of Things – Apple is being left further and further behind.
5. Open use lets manufacturers create bespoke devices
Moving past applications, Android's open nature also lets developers and hardware manufacturers make changes to the operating system's core software. This is great as it makes it fairly easy for companies to tailor Android to work in very specific environments and industries. This was shown earlier this year when secure communications provider Silent Circle used Android as the basis for its privacy-focused PrivatOS, used on its soon-to-be-released Blackphone.
PrivatOS is a secure version of Android that directly integrates Silent Circle's encryption technology. The technology is designed to let users securely make and receive phone calls, exchange texts, transfer and store files and video chat, without fear that their activities are being monitored or recorded. It does this by encrypting all data passing through the phone using a self-generating key that deletes itself after use.
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