Remember Bump, that app that allowed you to swap contacts with a quick nudge of both party's phones? The one that everyone forgot about in a week or so? Well there's a new app in the Android Market that's brought the same functionality to Facebook, with an NFC-enabled twist for the new generation of Android smartphones. Simply titled "Add Friend", the app connects to your Facebook account and adds someone when a similarly-equipped phone is activated.
So it's come to this. Digital, vicarious spooning through smartphones. As an extension of the social world, the image of two smartphones smothered against each other is hard to beat - and judging by the app's featured picture on the Android Market, that's exactly what the developer had in mind. Still, to each his (or her) own. The usage case seems a little limited, though; you'll need two high-end Android phones, each equipped with the free app and connected to your Facebook account, three separate conditions that are hard to combine at the moment.
The success of these types of apps will largely depend upon Near Field Communication's adoption worldwide, and it isn't looking good outside of Asia. The payment options of NFC are complicated by cross-company deals and alliances, at least one of which is probably keeping Google Wallet off of the Galaxy Nexus for the time being. But with Android Beam, Ice Cream Sandwich users should at least become more comfortable with the idea of "bumping" information across devices.
Say, why don't we just go back to IR ports? It worked great on my old Palm M105.