Google Wallet received its first significant update in a while today, with a mildly refreshed UI, bug fixes, but no new features. In fact, as Ron points out, references to all the features we were excited about having actually been removed from the app. Like the Wallet Card, and P2P money transfers. It doesn't mean those ideas are dead, per se, but we would guess it does mean they're experiencing some delays. Who knows, they could pop back up at Google I/O. The new version number is 1.6-R96-v13.

Anyway, this latest update finally rids Wallet of the Gingerbread-esque tile layout that Google encouraged developers to adopt way back when, and picks up some holo-y accents, such as navigation tabs (which were in some areas previously, but now are throughout the app) and a proper action bar. Generally, it just looks a little more consistent, and a little less ugly.

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Nexus 4 owners should take some satisfaction in early reports that the update resolves issues the NFC secure element failing to be recognized. This probably is most relevant to T-Mobile users, as this problem occurred frequently with T-Mobile microSIMs that had an ISIS-ready NFC element embedded in them. However, it's far from clear if this is the only issue.

Ron has had problems with Wallet from day one on the Nexus 4, and is still finding even after the update that certain NFC terminals simply don't work (eg, payment times out). Those of you with Nexus 4's, be sure to let us know how this new version of Wallet is faring for you, particularly if you were experiencing problems before.

Play Magazines also got an update today, while we're at it. Basically, it makes the app more efficient (uses less space, less RAM, more cleanly deletes old editions). You can pick up the new versions of both of these apps on the Play Store.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • adi19956

    The real question is when is it coming to the UK?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      As soon as they get it working right in the USA. So, maybe in 8-10 years.

      • http://twitter.com/RaspberryDuff Matt

        Credit card companies aren't going to force retailers to use chip cards until 2015, despite this taking place in European countries in 2005 (and Canada over the past few years). Perhaps Google should consider looking to other countries for implementation of new point-of-sale technologies because the US is far from an innovator.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

    The Nexus 4 has a hardware flaw in its NFC chip. If you hold it to terminal with the volume buttons pointing up, it works better. Not shitting you. Search for it on XDA.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Why wouldn't you hold it to the terminal with the volume buttons pointing up? Seems like the natural way to hold it to me, unless I'm misunderstanding you.

      • syntaxxerror

        Volume buttons up might mean phone sideways.

        • Justin Winker

          Yes, but "sideways" could also mean the volume buttons are pointing down. I think he means to have the volume buttons pointing away from you (or "up" if the terminal is not horizontal).

        • http://twitter.com/RaspberryDuff Matt

          Yeah I've always held it with the longer side vertically and the volume button pointing up, as though the phone is in portrait mode. I've only used it twice but it's worked both times without issue.

      • raaad

        As a right-handed person Id rather hold the phone horizontally with the power button on top.. like, the power button right on my right finger.. but I dont know either if thats what he wants to say

  • klob

    Do I smell one of Ron's app teardowns? Please?

  • PhineasJW

    Wallet on my Nexus 4 was already working at CVS & RiteAid, but failing at my local McDonalds.

    Sounds like it's time to try it there again.

    • Chris

      does your mcdonalds have the verifone card readers? (newer ones have a small LCD screen on top with the enter, cancel and return keys to the right and the keypad thats sits with in the reader it self on the bottom with the wireless pad on top) I find that they work quite well with the NFC tech.

      • PhineasJW

        Yes, my local McDonalds has a Verifone reader, which in the past was able to activate the Nexus 4's NFC, but never succeed with the Wallet transaction.

        The CVS & RiteAid use Paypass terminals, which both worked for me.

        • John

          I get about 80% success rate with it. It's a bitch when it doesn't work & people are watching you.

  • Josh Rice

    Have an APK download for us poor saps on Verizon?

  • tyguy829

    APK Teardown time?

  • Chris

    nice update. The promo videos show you holding the phone sideways, but it seems to work in portrait mode.

  • Paul_Werner

    I've never had an issue on my Nexus 4 on T-Mobile. I must not have had a SIM with ISIS on it I guess. Only thing I'm not seeing that is on your screenshots is the Rewards Cards and Gift Cards buttons. Time to scour the internet to find out how to get that to show up unless someone wants to let me know on here

    • Paul_Werner

      Nvm, found it on my own. Currently they do not support the gift or rewards cards section on Nexus 4 or 10. It does work on the Nexus 7 though. Pretty limited selection however. I really hope this gets built upon to add more rewards cards. I'd like to get rid of the Key Ring app and only use Google Wallet

  • saltyzip

    UK Rollout please. There are loads of touch less payment systems in shops in the UK and I've only ever seen someone actually use it once. Whether they are compatible with NFC and the Google Wallet who knows.

  • James Bryant

    The biggest bug with google wallet is the fact that it is not available outside of the usa

  • Alex Wagner

    I've had the same problem as Ron from day one... no successes so far (4 attempts, at CVS and gas station). Tried the updated version today, still no success.