Mobile music discovery service Shazam has just revealed an updated version of its application for Android users which takes advantage of the new technology in Android 4.0 called “Android Beam.” For those unfamiliar, Android Beam is an NFC-based “touch-and-share” feature that allows Android owners share contacts, links, maps, and other data simply by tapping phones. In Shazam’s forthcoming Android app, Android Beam will allows users to share music, coupons, tour dates and even “TV tags,” thanks to Shazam’s TV advertising partnerships.
The only bad news: the new Shazam app supporting Android Beam isn’t live now, nor is it expected for a few weeks. Boo. The announcement, made at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, was only a preview of what’s coming.
When it goes live, however, two Android users will be able to hold their phones back-to-back in order to share music (well, music samples), offers they’ve received from advertisers (for example, via the Shazam-enabled TV ads), plus info on tour dates for favorite bands and more. If the friend in question doesn’t have the Shazam Android app, Android Beam will instead point them to the Android Market in order to grab a copy.
What’s more likely, though, is that the friend won’t have Android Beam at all. As of today, Android 4.0 (aka “Ice Cream Sandwich”) is installed on just 1% of Android devices, according to Google. And even now as new handsets debut, it’s not a given that a brand-new phone will run Android 4.0 when launched.
Shazam also took the opportunity today to announce plans for “faster tagging” for Android users. Some improvements have already been made in this area, and Shazam promises a few more tweaks will arrive this week, with iOS to follow. When those go live, Shazam says that songs and TV ads will be able to be identified in a fraction of the time it previously took, even as little as one second.
The company’s mobile applications are a cross-platform play, with support for Android, iOS, Nokia, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry platforms. The app, which originally began as a utility to identify the song it hears on your radio’s speakers, has more recently expanded to a TV, allowing users to “tag” television ads in order to receive more information and offers from the given merchant. Today, Shazam has over 180 million users across 200 countries, and is adding new users at a rate of 1.5 million per week.