Google Wallet news picked up dramatically a few weeks ago amidst rumors of a more competitive strategy from Google, followed shortly thereafter by the Softcard technology acquisition. Naturally, we were anticipating something pretty big when an update suddenly brought Wallet from v8.0 to v9.0. We...were let down. Google was kind enough to finally add search functionality to the Transactions screen, but sacrificed the Orders screen in the process.
Left: old version, Center + Right: new version with search
Search functionality has always been mysteriously absent in Wallet, but it seems Google finally gave us something to work with. The v9 update places a search bar on the Transactions screen, and it's actually pretty useful. It starts a simple keyword search which appears to run on both the vendor name and details field (and possibly others).
A changelog of sorts has been posted to Google+ by the Wallet team. In addition to searchable transactions, Google has also added a Maps widget with the location of the purchase. This should make it easier to remember where a mystery purchase was made or help with tracking down fraudulent charges. The widget will only appear for purchases made at a physical location.
Left: old version, Right: new version
No More Orders Screen
While we've gained one helpful feature for past transactions, we seem to have lost another. The Orders screen has been wiped from Wallet. When I say it's gone, it is really gone. A teardown revealed that the Orders activity has been removed entirely.
For those who may not remember, Orders was once used to track physical products that were purchased online and shipped to customers. Perhaps Google opted to remove this feature since it's mostly redundant to Google Now's shipment tracking feature. Whatever the reason may be, Orders is gone, and it's probably not coming back.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File Name: com.google.android.apps.walletnfcrel-9.0-R206-v11-920611400-minAPI15.apk
Version: 9.0-R206-v11 (920611400)