PhoneGap NFC Plugin
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README.md

PhoneGap NFC Plugin

The NFC plugin allows you to read and write NFC tags. You can also beam to, and receive from, other NFC enabled devices.

Use to

  • read data from NFC tags
  • write data to NFC tags
  • send data to other NFC enabled devices
  • receive data from NFC devices

This plugin uses NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) for maximum compatibilty between NFC devices, tag types, and operating systems.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows (includes Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10)
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Windows Phone 8
  • BlackBerry 7

Contents

Installing

Cordova

$ cordova plugin add phonegap-nfc

PhoneGap

$ phonegap plugin add phonegap-nfc

PhoneGap Build

Edit config.xml to install the plugin for PhoneGap Build.

<gap:plugin name="phonegap-nfc" source="npm" />

Windows Phone 8.1 should use the windows platform. The Silverlight based Windows Phone 8 code is no longer being maintained.

BlackBerry 7 support is only available for Cordova 2.x. For applications targeting BlackBerry 7, you may need to use an older version of phonegap-nfc.

See Getting Started and Getting Started BlackBerry 10for more details.

NFC

The nfc object provides access to the device's NFC sensor.

Methods

nfc.addNdefListener

Registers an event listener for any NDEF tag.

nfc.addNdefListener(callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • callback: The callback that is called when an NDEF tag is read.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is added.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.addNdefListener registers the callback for ndef events.

A ndef event is fired when a NDEF tag is read.

For BlackBerry 10, you must configure the type of tags your application will read with an invoke-target in config.xml.

On Android registered mimeTypeListeners takes precedence over this more generic NDEF listener.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Windows Phone 8

nfc.removeNdefListener

Removes the previously registered event listener for NDEF tags added via nfc.addNdefListener.

nfc.removeNdefListener(callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • callback: The previously registered callback.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is successfully removed.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error during removal.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.addTagDiscoveredListener

Registers an event listener for tags matching any tag type.

nfc.addTagDiscoveredListener(callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • callback: The callback that is called when a tag is detected.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is added.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.addTagDiscoveredListener registers the callback for tag events.

This event occurs when any tag is detected by the phone.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.removeTagDiscoveredListener

Removes the previously registered event listener added via nfc.addTagDiscoveredListener.

nfc.removeTagDiscoveredListener(callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • callback: The previously registered callback.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is successfully removed.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error during removal.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.addMimeTypeListener

Registers an event listener for NDEF tags matching a specified MIME type.

nfc.addMimeTypeListener(mimeType, callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • mimeType: The MIME type to filter for messages.
  • callback: The callback that is called when an NDEF tag matching the MIME type is read.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is added.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.addMimeTypeListener registers the callback for ndef-mime events.

A ndef-mime event occurs when a Ndef.TNF_MIME_MEDIA tag is read and matches the specified MIME type.

This function can be called multiple times to register different MIME types. You should use the same handler for all MIME messages.

nfc.addMimeTypeListener("text/json", *onNfc*, success, failure);
nfc.addMimeTypeListener("text/demo", *onNfc*, success, failure);

On Android, MIME types for filtering should always be lower case. (See IntentFilter.addDataType())

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.removeMimeTypeListener

Removes the previously registered event listener added via nfc.addMimeTypeListener.

nfc.removeMimeTypeListener(mimeType, callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • mimeType: The MIME type to filter for messages.
  • callback: The previously registered callback.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is successfully removed.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error during removal.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.addNdefFormatableListener

Registers an event listener for formatable NDEF tags.

nfc.addNdefFormatableListener(callback, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • callback: The callback that is called when NDEF formatable tag is read.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the listener is added.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.addNdefFormatableListener registers the callback for ndef-formatable events.

A ndef-formatable event occurs when a tag is read that can be NDEF formatted. This is not fired for tags that are already formatted as NDEF. The ndef-formatable event will not contain an NdefMessage.

Supported Platforms

  • Android

nfc.write

Writes an NDEF Message to a NFC tag.

A NDEF Message is an array of one or more NDEF Records

var message = [
    ndef.textRecord("hello, world"),
    ndef.uriRecord("http://github.com/chariotsolutions/phonegap-nfc")
];

nfc.write(message, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • ndefMessage: An array of NDEF Records.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the tag is written.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.write writes an NdefMessage to a NFC tag.

On Android this method must be called from within an NDEF Event Handler. On Windows this method may be called from within the NDEF Event Handler.

On Windows Phone 8.1 this method should be called outside the NDEF Event Handler, otherwise Windows tries to read the tag contents as you are writing to the tag.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7
  • Windows Phone 8

nfc.makeReadOnly

Makes a NFC tag read only. Warning this is permanent.

nfc.makeReadOnly([onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the tag is locked.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.makeReadOnly make a NFC tag read only. Warning this is permanent and can not be undone.

On Android this method must be called from within an NDEF Event Handler.

Example usage

onNfc: function(nfcEvent) {

    var record = [
        ndef.textRecord("hello, world")
    ];

    var failure = function(reason) {
        alert("ERROR: " + reason);
    };

    var lockSuccess = function() {
        alert("Tag is now read only.");
    };

    var lock = function() {
        nfc.makeReadOnly(lockSuccess, failure);
    };

    nfc.write(record, lock, failure);

},

Supported Platforms

  • Android

nfc.share

Shares an NDEF Message via peer-to-peer.

A NDEF Message is an array of one or more NDEF Records

var message = [
    ndef.textRecord("hello, world")
];

nfc.share(message, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • ndefMessage: An array of NDEF Records.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the message is pushed.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.share writes an NdefMessage via peer-to-peer. This should appear as an NFC tag to another device.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Windows Phone 8

Platform differences

Android - shares message until unshare is called
Blackberry 10 - shares the message one time or until unshare is called
Windows Phone 8 - must be called from within a NFC event handler like nfc.write

nfc.unshare

Stop sharing NDEF data via peer-to-peer.

nfc.unshare([onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when sharing stops.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.unshare stops sharing data via peer-to-peer.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 7
  • BlackBerry 10

nfc.erase

Erase a NDEF tag

nfc.erase([onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when sharing stops.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.erase erases a tag by writing an empty message. Will format unformatted tags before writing.

This method must be called from within an NDEF Event Handler.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • BlackBerry 7

nfc.handover

Send a file to another device via NFC handover.

var uri = "content://media/external/audio/media/175";
nfc.handover(uri, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);


var uris = [
    "content://media/external/audio/media/175",
    "content://media/external/audio/media/176",
    "content://media/external/audio/media/348"
];
nfc.handover(uris, [onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • uri: A URI as a String, or an array of URIs.
  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when the message is pushed.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.handover shares files to a NFC peer using handover. Files are sent by specifying a file:// or context:// URI or a list of URIs. The file transfer is initiated with NFC but the transfer is completed with over Bluetooth or WiFi which is handled by a NFC handover request. The Android code is responsible for building the handover NFC Message.

This is Android only, but it should be possible to add implementations for other platforms.

Supported Platforms

  • Android

nfc.stopHandover

Stop sharing NDEF data via NFC handover.

nfc.stopHandover([onSuccess], [onFailure]);

Parameters

  • onSuccess: (Optional) The callback that is called when sharing stops.
  • onFailure: (Optional) The callback that is called if there was an error.

Description

Function nfc.stopHandover stops sharing data via peer-to-peer.

Supported Platforms

  • Android

nfc.showSettings

Show the NFC settings on the device.

nfc.showSettings(success, failure);

Description

Function showSettings opens the NFC settings for the operating system.

Parameters

  • success: Success callback function [optional]
  • failure: Error callback function, invoked when error occurs. [optional]

Quick Example

nfc.showSettings();

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry 10

nfc.enabled

Check if NFC is available and enabled on this device.

nfc.enabled(onSuccess, onFailure);

Parameters

  • onSuccess: The callback that is called when NFC is enabled.
  • onFailure: The callback that is called when NFC is disabled or missing.

Description

Function nfc.enabled explicitly checks to see if the phone has NFC and if NFC is enabled. If everything is OK, the success callback is called. If there is a problem, the failure callback will be called with a reason code.

The reason will be NO_NFC if the device doesn't support NFC and NFC_DISABLED if the user has disabled NFC.

Note: that on Android the NFC status is checked before every API call NO_NFC or NFC_DISABLED can be returned in any failure function.

Windows will return NO_NFC_OR_NFC_DISABLED when NFC is not present or disabled. If the user disabled NFC after the application started, Windows may return NFC_DISABLED. Windows checks the NFC status before most API calls, but there are some cases when the NFC state can not be determined.

Supported Platforms

  • Android
  • Windows

NDEF

The ndef object provides NDEF constants, functions for creating NdefRecords, and functions for converting data. See android.nfc.NdefRecord for documentation about constants

NdefMessage

Represents an NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) data message that contains one or more NdefRecords. This plugin uses an array of NdefRecords to represent an NdefMessage.

NdefRecord

Represents a logical (unchunked) NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) record.

Properties

  • tnf: 3-bit TNF (Type Name Format) - use one of the TNF_* constants
  • type: byte array, containing zero to 255 bytes, must not be null
  • id: byte array, containing zero to 255 bytes, must not be null
  • payload: byte array, containing zero to (2 ** 32 - 1) bytes, must not be null

The ndef object has a function for creating NdefRecords

var type = "text/pg",
    id = [],
    payload = nfc.stringToBytes("Hello World"),
    record = ndef.record(ndef.TNF_MIME_MEDIA, type, id, payload);

There are also helper functions for some types of records

Create a URI record

var record = ndef.uriRecord("http://chariotsolutions.com");

Create a plain text record

var record = ndef.textRecord("Plain text message");

Create a mime type record

var mimeType = "text/pg",
    payload = "Hello Phongap",
    record = ndef.mimeMediaRecord(mimeType, nfc.stringToBytes(payload));

Create an Empty record

var record = ndef.emptyRecord();

Create an Android Application Record (AAR)

var record = ndef.androidApplicationRecord('com.example');

See ndef.record, ndef.textRecord, ndef.mimeMediaRecord, and ndef.uriRecord.

The Ndef object has functions to convert some data types to and from byte arrays.

See the phonegap-nfc.js source for more documentation.

Events

Events are fired when NFC tags are read. Listeners are added by registering callback functions with the nfc object. For example nfc.addNdefListener(myNfcListener, win, fail);

NfcEvent

Properties

  • type: event type
  • tag: Ndef tag

Types

  • tag
  • ndef-mime
  • ndef
  • ndef-formatable

The tag contents are platform dependent.

id and techTypes may be included when scanning a tag on Android. serialNumber may be included on BlackBerry 7.

id and serialNumber are different names for the same value. id is typically displayed as a hex string ndef.bytesToHexString(tag.id).

Windows, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry 10 read the NDEF information from a tag, but do not have access to the tag id or other meta data like capacity, read-only status or tag technologies.

Assuming the following NDEF message is written to a tag, it will produce the following events when read.

var ndefMessage = [
    ndef.createMimeRecord('text/pg', 'Hello PhoneGap')
];

Sample Event on Android

{
    type: 'ndef',
    tag: {
        "isWritable": true,
        "id": [4, 96, 117, 74, -17, 34, -128],
        "techTypes": ["android.nfc.tech.IsoDep", "android.nfc.tech.NfcA", "android.nfc.tech.Ndef"],
        "type": "NFC Forum Type 4",
        "canMakeReadOnly": false,
        "maxSize": 2046,
        "ndefMessage": [{
            "id": [],
            "type": [116, 101, 120, 116, 47, 112, 103],
            "payload": [72, 101, 108, 108, 111, 32, 80, 104, 111, 110, 101, 71, 97, 112],
            "tnf": 2
        }]
    }
}

Sample Event on BlackBerry 7

{
    type: 'ndef',
    tag: {
        "tagType": "4",
        "isLocked": false,
        "isLockable": false,
        "freeSpaceSize": "2022",
        "serialNumberLength": "7",
        "serialNumber": [4, 96, 117, 74, -17, 34, -128],
        "name": "Desfire EV1 2K",
        "ndefMessage": [{
            "tnf": 2,
            "type": [116, 101, 120, 116, 47, 112, 103],
            "id": [],
            "payload": [72, 101, 108, 108, 111, 32, 80, 104, 111, 110, 101, 71, 97, 112]
        }]
    }
}

Sample Event on Windows, BlackBerry 10, or Windows Phone 8

{
    type: 'ndef',
    tag: {
        "ndefMessage": [{
            "tnf": 2,
            "type": [116, 101, 120, 116, 47, 112, 103],
            "id": [],
            "payload": [72, 101, 108, 108, 111, 32, 80, 104, 111, 110, 101, 71, 97, 112]
        }]
    }
}

Getting Details about Events

The raw contents of the scanned tags are written to the log before the event is fired. Use adb logcat on Android and Event Log (hold alt + lglg) on BlackBerry.

You can also log the tag contents in your event handlers. console.log(JSON.stringify(nfcEvent.tag)) Note that you want to stringify the tag not the event to avoid a circular reference.

Platform Differences

Non-NDEF Tags

Only Android and BlackBerry 7 can read data from non-NDEF NFC tags.

Mifare Classic Tags

BlackBerry 7, BlackBerry 10 and many newer Android phones will not read Mifare Classic tags. Mifare Ultralight tags will work since they are NFC Forum Type 2 tags. Newer Windows 8.1 phones (Lumia 640) can read Mifare Classic tags.

Tag Id and Meta Data

Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10, and Windows read the NDEF information from a tag, but do not have access to the tag id or other meta data like capacity, read-only status or tag technologies.

Multiple Listeners

Multiple listeners can be registered in JavaScript. e.g. addNdefListener, addTagDiscoveredListener, addMimeTypeListener.

On Android, only the most specific event will fire. If a Mime Media Tag is scanned, only the addMimeTypeListener callback is called and not the callback defined in addNdefListener. You can use the same event handler for multiple listeners.

For Windows, this plugin mimics the Android behavior. If an ndef event is fired, a tag event will not be fired. You should receive one event per tag.

On BlackBerry 7, all the events fire if a Mime Media Tag is scanned.

addTagDiscoveredListener

On Android, addTagDiscoveredListener scans non-NDEF tags and NDEF tags. The tag event does NOT contain an ndefMessage even if there are NDEF messages on the tag. Use addNdefListener or addMimeTypeListener to get the NDEF information.

Windows can scan non-NDEF (unformatted) tags using addTagDiscoveredListener. The tag event will not include any data.

On BlackBerry 7, addTagDiscoveredListener does NOT scan non-NDEF tags. Webworks returns the ndefMessage in the event.

Non-NDEF tag scanned with addTagDiscoveredListener on Android

{
    type: 'tag',
    tag: {
        "id": [-81, 105, -4, 64],
        "techTypes": ["android.nfc.tech.MifareClassic", "android.nfc.tech.NfcA", "android.nfc.tech.NdefFormatable"]
    }
}

NDEF tag scanned with addTagDiscoveredListener on Android

{
    type: 'tag',
    tag: {
        "id": [4, 96, 117, 74, -17, 34, -128],
        "techTypes": ["android.nfc.tech.IsoDep", "android.nfc.tech.NfcA", "android.nfc.tech.Ndef"]
    }
}

Non-NDEF tag scanned with addTagDiscoveredListener on Windows

{
    type: 'tag',
    tag: {
    }
}

BlackBerry 10 Invoke Target

This plugin uses the BlackBerry Invocation Framework to read NFC tags on BlackBerry 10. This means that you need to register an invoke target in the config.xml.

If your project supports multiple platforms, copy www/config.xml to merges/config.xml and add a rim:invoke-target tag. The invoke-target determines which tags your app will scan when it is running. If your application is not running, BlackBerry will launch it when a matching tag is scanned.

This sample configuration attempts to open any NDEF tag.

<rim:invoke-target id="your.unique.id.here">
    <type>APPLICATION</type>
    <filter>
        <action>bb.action.OPEN</action>
        <mime-type>application/vnd.rim.nfc.ndef</mime-type>
        <!-- any TNF Empty(0), Well Known(1), MIME Media(2), Absolute URI(3), External(4) -->
        <property var="uris" value="ndef://0,ndef://1,ndef://2,ndef://3,ndef://4" />
    </filter>
</rim:invoke-target>

You can configure you application to handle only certain tags.

For example to scan only MIME Media tags of type "text/pg" use

<rim:invoke-target id="your.unique.id.here">
    <type>APPLICATION</type>
    <filter>
        <action>bb.action.OPEN</action>
        <mime-type>application/vnd.rim.nfc.ndef</mime-type>
        <!-- TNF MIME Media(2) with type "text/pg" -->
        <property var="uris" value="ndef://2/text/pg" />
    </filter>
</rim:invoke-target>

Or to scan only Plain Text tags use

<rim:invoke-target id="your.unique.id.here">
    <type>APPLICATION</type>
    <filter>
        <action>bb.action.OPEN</action>
        <mime-type>application/vnd.rim.nfc.ndef</mime-type>
        <!-- TNF Well Known(1), RTD T -->
        <property var="uris" value="ndef://1/T" />
    </filter>
</rim:invoke-target>

See the BlackBerry documentation for more info.

Launching your Android Application when Scanning a Tag

On Android, intents can be used to launch your application when a NFC tag is read. This is optional and configured in AndroidManifest.xml.

<intent-filter>
  <action android:name="android.nfc.action.NDEF_DISCOVERED" />
  <data android:mimeType="text/pg" />
  <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
</intent-filter>

Note: data android:mimeType="text/pg" should match the data type you specified in JavaScript

We have found it necessary to add android:noHistory="true" to the activity element so that scanning a tag launches the application after the user has pressed the home button.

See the Android documentation for more information about filtering for NFC intents.

Testing

Tests require the Cordova Plugin Test Framework

Create a new project

git clone https://github.com/chariotsolutions/phonegap-nfc
cordova create nfc-test com.example.nfc.test NfcTest
cd nfc-test
cordova platform add android
cordova plugin add ../phonegap-nfc
cordova plugin add ../phonegap-nfc/tests
cordova plugin add http://git-wip-us.apache.org/repos/asf/cordova-plugin-test-framework.git

Change the start page in config.xml

<content src="cdvtests/index.html" />

Run the app on your phone

cordova run

Sample Projects

HCE

For Host Card Emulation (HCE), try the Cordova HCE Plugin.

Book

Need more info? Check out my book Beginning NFC: Near Field Communication with Arduino, Android, and PhoneGap

Beginning NFC

License

The MIT License

Copyright (c) 2011-2015 Chariot Solutions

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.