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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    oldAGE's Avatar

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    Default Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    Holy cow... can this get any more stupider? Is stupider really even a word....? But I have to admit, if Samsung and Verizon get put in the same room.... it can become even More Stupiderier than ever before.

    So, you turn on NFC on your Android device and Android Beam turns on. You back-to-back the phones (two S3s) and you tap the photo... And it doesn't work because S Beam is not turn on....

    Wait... wait a second... you mean the actual native OS NFC file transfer protocol doesn't work so you have to use the manufacturers variant.... OK... WTF!!!! How many freakin' switches do I need to throw to perform what was designed to be simple tasks? I think it's easier to tap the Gmail Icon on top of the gallery and email the photo.

    These guys can screw up a wet dream. No S Beam Widget either. Wonderful!!!
    fluxeternal likes this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    I dont think you can normally send media through nfc...more like small tidbits of info like google play links, url links, etc. Maybe its just me?
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    ^ Of course you can. I send pics and videos to my wife's phone all the time.

    That being said, I have no idea what the difference is between all the options. I mean, there's NFC, Android Beam, S Beam, Wi-Fi Direct, etc.

    All I know is I have the NFC checkbox checked on both phones (and Wi-fi direct disabled) and it works fine. But then I get something about Wi-Fi direct a few minutes after using it (about it being inactive and disabling it). I assume when I tap the phones together, since NFC is on, it must activate Wi-Fi Direct....

    But I don't know if I'm using S Beam or Android Beam or Wi-Fi direct when I transfer the stuff over. Beats me. Reading the descriptions for Android Beam vs. S Beam makes it sound like Android Beam can't send files....only browser pages, youtube videos, contacts, etc. Then if you use S Beam it says stuff about media files...

    anyways, I have NFC, Android Beam, and S Beam all on, then Wi-Fi direct off and haven't had any issues sending things to her phone. I wonder if I could turn something off and save some battery or something.
  4. #4  
    lbkiml's Avatar

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    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
    oldAGE's Avatar

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    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    OK. I have figured it out. Here is a primer. Following the primer, I will discuss some detail:

    - Android Beam - the NFC communications standard for file transfer on devices that use the Android Operating System

    - S Beam - the Samsung Variant of Android Beam

    - WiFi Direct - yet another network/protocol alliance for direct device-to-device communication for file transfer

    Now the details and examples:

    * First you must turn on NFC for any "beaming" function.
    * Next, if you are sharing a file (transfer) with another Android device that is NOT a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone (currently... will change in the future?) that supports Android Beam, you then turn on Android Beam on both devices and follow the "beaming" method.
    * If you are sharing a file with another Samsung Galaxy S3 phone, then you turn on S Beam on both phones and follow the beaming method. The S3s support only S Beam between S3 devices -- one would expect that this will change with future Samsung devices.
    * Complexity Warning - if both devices support WiFi Direct, the beaming function will want to transfer via WiFi direct... especially for larger file types - music, photos, videos, etc. It's more robust and a faster protocol. Beam is around the same speed as BlueTooth (another mechanism and another story).
    * WiFi Direct is another methodology (it's not NFC based beaming) of allowing devices to both Share and Transfer files (files are files... documents, songs, music, contacts, videos, code, what have you...). The goal behind WiFi direct, as compared to DLNA or AllShare (Samsungs DLNA variant) is that devices that are WiFi Direct compliant need no WiFi Access Point host. AllShare does require a host WiFi network to work. In other words, the devices create an ad-hoc connection between each other using WPA2 security standards. You can be up on Mt. Everest and use a WiFi direct device (your S3) to create a WiFi host for other WiFi capable devices to share and transfer files. In short, WiFi direct is the bigger, faster, badder way of transfering and sharing files especially over distance (compared to NFC where the phones have to be touching to start and close together to finish the transfer). Devices using WiFi Direct need to be in WiFi proximity but not next to each other or touching. Finally, you can create a WiFi Direct Group and share files or transfer to multiple devices simultaneously as long as all are participating in the group with a secure access defined by the WiFi direct host. Again, all this is created Ad-hoc -- on demand at the time you desire to host the connections.

    I think this pretty much sums it up. Got two S3s? S Beam. Got two Androids where one is not an S3? Android Beam. Got WiFi device(s) that want to either share or transfer files and the files are bigger and you don't need a quick hit but have a more robust need and/or don't have a WiFi network around? WiFi Direct.

    If you have questions... let me see how this community can help.

    AGE
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    I had a lot of problems with Android beam at first as well. Here is a blog post that goes into great detail how to use it and contrasts the differences between S Beam and Android Beam. What Samsung & Google Don
  7. #7  
    n8ter#AC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    Too much bad info. It's simple.

    Android Beam uses Blue tooth to transfer some data, like files. BT is slow because the only devices that have consistently be shipping with 3/4.0 + HS are Galaxy S devices. Everything else is EDR, which is still terribly slow.

    Samsung solved thus by making their own version that uses WiFi Direct. The benefits are obvious and Android Beam between two GS3 devices is a waste of time.

    More devices have WiFi Direct than the High Speed BT 3/4 profile. Google should have used that instead. Terrible decision on Google search part...

    S Beam is necessary. It's what Google SHOULD have done from day 1.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    why cant i simply have nfc feature in phone without Android beam and S Beam and just turn on NFC, phones placed back to back and I must be able to transfer any data???
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    I tried to send a youtube link and pictures to my brothers note 2 with nfc and couldn't get it to work. We used a friends S3 and it works first try so it looks like nfc on my one x doesn't even work
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    I met a random person who noticed my phone she bumped me the new Adam Sandler movie in about 3 min. It was easy. And frikin awesome!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Android Central Forums
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    So can you troll. GFYS and DIAF IMO.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    if i enable S beam so will NFC automatically get enabled? or vice-versa
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    Caution NFC may not function properly with the use of a 3rd party battery. To ensure functionality, only utilize the Samsung designed battery with Near Field Communication printed on the battery label.
    Taureanfemme likes this.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the ****!!!

    Verizon just messes up the SIII. Best phone in the world (until S IV comes out). Verizon also has that annoying wifi notification. Can't it be on the top of the notification bar like other S3's. Samsung should some how stop carriers from adding bloatware like the iPhone. Not saying the iPhone is better but please remove the bloatware and carrier customizes like that NFC problem without rooting Samsung!!!
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    NFC cannot send large files fast. It only works if the two devices are closer than about 5cm apart. All devices that have android beam or sbeam have NFC. It is used only to 'sense' that the other device is touching the back of the other phone.

    Android beam uses NFC to detect that the two phones are touching, then sends the file onscreen to the other phone through Bluetooth.

    Sbeam does the same thing except it sends the files through 'WiFi direct' (WiFi direct is faster)

    Really, the switches aren't a big problem. I keep NFC on at all times because it uses virtually no battery at all. And WiFi direct automatically toggles on when I have my WiFi on...so if I would like to send files through Sbeam I turn on WiFi and if I'd like to send files through android beam i switch on Bluetooth.
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    When Sbeam is enabled NFC will automatically be enabled. When NFC is disabled Sbeam will be disabled. If they are both on and you disable Sbeam then NFC will stay on. And if they're both off and you enable NFC, sbeam will stay off.
  17. #17  
    nyry's Avatar

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    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    Tried to use NFC with my brother and I (he has a GS3 also) and we had to have S Beam on also.

    Tried a GS3 and a Nexus 7 and same thing.. had to have S Beam on for some reason to get it to work and actually transfer

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Android Beam/S Beam... what the hell!!!

    The limitations begin with understaing the definitions of the three different techonologies involved:

    1. NFC was NOT designed for heavy-duty file transfers, since it's not meant to be fast. It's the equivalent of reading an optical barcode but in a discrete, close-range radio frequency tag.

    2. Android Beam is an extension of the standard (and very limited) NFC, in that it allows transfer things a bit bigger than just "tag" information, like contacts, photos and hyperlinks by using Bluetooth for the actual data transfers. It only works with Android devices that have NFC. This thing is relatively slow due to the nature of Bluetooth transmission rates, but its miles ahead of what NFC-alone could ever achive, and does not require constant close-proximity of the sending and receiving devices. This is not Android's or any device's fault, but Bluetooth's (1-24 Mbit/s transfer rates)

    3. S Beam is a Samsung-exclusive extension of NFC and Android Beam, that uses both NFC for the initial handshake connection and THEN it switches to a much faster Wi-Fi Direct transfer once both devices agreed to communicate via the "if both phones got pegged this close for NFC to work, then its safe to say that both owners agreed on the transfer". It's way faster (11 - 300 Mbit/s) than Bluetooth and it also allows to continue transmitting without requiring both devices pegged to one another for the whole duration of the transmission. This thing is useful, but nobody else but Samsung has agreed on adding S Beam to their list if "must have" features. Since it's not an industry standard, it only works with Samsung-branded Android devices.

    Hope this information is useful.

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