The Google Wallet app hasn't seen a lot of activity in a while, but an update began rolling out late yesterday that shows that there's still quite a bit happening to the app. Version 21 brings a number of visual enhancements that make the app look a bit cleaner and not quite as formal. Under the covers, a teardown also shows that the Wallet developers are about to launch multi-person money requests for those times when everybody splits the cost, a new reminders system to keep you from forgetting to take care of business, and confirms Android Messages integration is coming soon.

What's New

There aren't really many functional changes to find in this update–or at least they aren't live yet–but there are some visual adjustments that make the whole interface look a bit nicer.

The main screen now uses a fully black number for send/request amounts and there's finally an icon for money transfers. The list of transfers can now also show a few lines of text from the notes field.

Left: v20. Right: v21.

The only complaint I have is that dates no longer include a year, but that probably doesn't matter if you use Wallet a little more often than I do.

Detail screens for individual transactions have gone through an even more significant redesign. In general, they don't look like a bank form anymore. The amount and note field are now front and center–they're quite literally centered. The rest of the details of the transaction have been pushed down to the bottom of the screen and given icons for easier reading.

 

Left: v20. Right: v21.

The one functional addition you'll probably notice is the presence of a button to create a new request for money. Tapping it will set up a new request for the same person with the same amount filled in. You can change the amount or write a note if you like.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Multi-person money requests

Google Wallet is a convenient tool for getting paid back if you go out to lunch with somebody and you end up paying for them if they forgot money at the office. It only takes a minute to pick a contact and enter an amount for them to repay. It's not quite as convenient when everybody in your office agrees to split the cost of holding a birthday party. All of those requests have to be sent one-at-a-time. However, that won't be true for much longer, Google Wallet is about to get multi-person money requests.

There's actually not much to say about this feature, it looks to be basically the same as the current money requests, but it allows for asking multiple contacts to send money. The one notable difference is that Wallet will tell you how many people were asked for money and it will calculate the total amount you're asking from the group.

strings
<string name="add_multi_memo_hint">Let the group know what this is for…</string>
<string name="contact_invalid_input_already_exists">Contact has already been selected.</string>
<string name="error_multi_request_problem_message">We weren\'t able to request money from these people:</string>
<string name="multi_request_sheet_header_no_counter_parties_selected">Request %1$s</string>
<string name="multi_request_sheet_subheader">%1$s total</string>
<string name="multi_requested_message">Request sent to %1$s people for a total of %2$s</string>
<string name="multi_requesting_message">Requesting from %1$s people for a total of %2$s</string>

<plurals name="multi_request_sheet_header">
<item quantity="other">Request %1$s from %2$d people</item>
<item quantity="zero">Request %1$s</item>
<item quantity="one">Request %1$s</item>
<item quantity="two">Request %1$s from %2$d people</item>
<item quantity="few">Request %1$s from %2$d people</item>
<item quantity="many">Request %1$s from %2$d people</item>
</plurals>

<plurals name="error_multi_request_contacts_exceeded">
<item quantity="other">You can request from up to %1$d people at once.</item>
<item quantity="one">You can request from up to %1$d person at once.</item>
<item quantity="many">You can request from up to %1$d people at once.</item>
</plurals>

<plurals name="send_or_request_multiple_contacts_hint">
<item quantity="other">Enter up to %1$d names and email addresses</item>
<item quantity="one">Enter up to %1$d name and email address</item>
<item quantity="many">Enter up to %1$d names and email addresses</item>
</plurals>

<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.wallet.feature.transfer.request.MultiRequestMoneyActivity" android:theme="@style/Theme.Wallet" android:windowSoftInputMode="stateUnchanged|stateHidden|stateAlwaysHidden|stateAlwaysVisible|adjustResize|adjustNothing" />

New layouts:
/layout/multi_request_failure_dialog.xml
/layout/multi_request_money_activity.xml
/layout/multi_request_sheet_fragment.xml

The one thing I'm not really sure about is whether or not the group request will be turned into individual requests once it's sent. I bring this up because I see no sign that there's an interface for keeping track of which people have paid and which ones are delinquent. Otherwise, requesting money from multiple people at once will probably be enabled fairly soon.

Reminders

I know, we all thought we were done talking about 'reminders' this year, but this is different. I promise. Google Wallet is adding a screen where we can set up reminders to either request or send money.

Reminders are created with the same fields as a regular send/request transaction (e.g. recipient, amount, and a note), but also allow you to define a date and time when the reminder should happen, and also a schedule if this is meant to be a recurring transaction. Options for frequency are: Once, Annually, Monthly, Bi-weekly, and Weekly.

The interface is actually live already, but it doesn't appear to be fully functional yet. By launching RemindersListActivity, you can get to the screens shown below. The main screen for reminders will show a list of everything you have coming up, and a FAB at the bottom right contains options to create requests or to pay somebody. You can even go through the process of creating a reminder, but it currently vanishes after hitting the button to save it.

strings
<string name="nav_drawer_reminders">Reminders</string>
<string name="active_reminders_label">Active reminders</string>
<string name="no_reminders_label">You have no active reminders.</string>

<string name="select_day">Select month and day</string>
<string name="select_year">Select year</string>
<string name="select_hours">Select hours</string>
<string name="select_minutes">Select minutes</string>

<string name="reminders_title">Reminders</string>
<string name="reminder_cancel_toast">Your changes have been cancelled.</string>
<string name="reminder_deletion_toast">Your reminder has successfully been deleted.</string>
<string name="reminder_dialog_delete">Delete</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_avatar_content_description">Profile picture of the contact associated with this reminder.</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_cancel_button">Cancel</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_delete_button">Delete reminder</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_delete_message">Sure you\'d like to delete this reminder?</string

<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_label">Frequency:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_biweekly_label">Bi-weekly</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_monthly_label">Monthly</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_once_label">Only once</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_weekly_label">Weekly</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_frequency_annually_label">Annually</string>

<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_on_label">Repeats on:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_friday_label">Friday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_monday_label">Monday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_saturday_label">Saturday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_sunday_label">Sunday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_thursday_label">Thursday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_tuesday_label">Tuesday</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_repeats_wednesday_label">Wednesday</string>

<string name="reminder_editor_invalid_entry_toast">There are invalid fields.</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_note_label">Note:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_pay_label">Pay:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_request_label">Request:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_save_button">Save</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_starts_on_label">Starts on:</string>
<string name="reminder_editor_time_label">Time:</string>
<string name="reminder_save_toast">Your changes have been saved.</string>
<string name="reminders_add">Add a reminder</string>
<string name="reminders_add_title">Add a reminder</string>
<string name="reminders_edit_title">Edit reminder</string>
<string name="reminders_fab_pay">Reminder to pay</string>
<string name="reminders_fab_request">Reminder to request</string>
<string name="reminders_item_avatar_content_description">Profile picture of a user associated with a reminder.</string>
<string name="reminders_item_icon_content_description">Reminders icon</string>

<string-array name="reminder_editor_frequency">
<item>@string/reminder_editor_frequency_weekly_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_frequency_biweekly_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_frequency_monthly_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_frequency_annually_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_frequency_once_label</item>
</string-array>
<string-array name="reminder_editor_repeats">
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_monday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_tuesday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_wednesday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_thursday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_friday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_saturday_label</item>
<item>@string/reminder_editor_repeats_sunday_label</item>
</string-array>

<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.wallet.feature.reminders.ReminderEditorActivity" android:theme="@style/Theme.Wallet.WhiteBackground" />
<activity android:name="com.google.android.apps.wallet.feature.reminders.RemindersListActivity" android:theme="@style/Theme.Wallet.WhiteBackground">
<intent-filter>
<action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
<category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
<data android:host="" android:pathPrefix="/reminders" android:scheme="comgooglewallet" />
</intent-filter>
</activity>

New menu and layouts:
/menu/reminder_editor_activity_menu.xml

/layout/reminder_editor_activity.xml
/layout/reminder_editor_edittext_row.xml
/layout/reminder_editor_money_row.xml
/layout/reminder_editor_spinner_dropdown_item.xml
/layout/reminder_editor_spinner_item.xml
/layout/reminder_editor_spinner_row.xml
/layout/reminders_label_container.xml
/layout/reminders_list_activity.xml
/layout/reminders_list_row_view.xml

Reminders will be useful for things like handing out an allowance or paying off debts, though it's probably the people that want to collect debts that will be more keen on using them.

Android Messages integration

Last month, a teardown of the Android Messages app hinted that there would probably be some built-in feature to allow people to quickly send or request money over SMS. The text was vague and left room to question if Google Wallet would be the service that enabled payments; but with this update, it's safe to confirm exactly that. Google Wallet is getting integration with the Android Messages app.

The promo text below explains how it works. To send or request money, all you have to do is open a chat with somebody and add a payment or request as an attachment. From the sound of it, you should be able to send payments or requests without ever switching apps.

<string name="bugle_promo_bottom_sheet_title">Send money to your friends and family from Android Messages</string>
<string name="bugle_promo_bottom_sheet_message">Now you can pay friends and family from a conversation in Android Messages. Open a conversation and attach a payment or money request.</string>
<string name="bugle_promo_send_to_phone">You can send money to friends and family right from the Android Messages app. &lt;a href=\"#\"&gt;Try it now&lt;/a&gt;.</string>

Google Wallet already supports sending money to a phone number via SMS, but requests for money are only allowed with known contacts and email addresses. It's not clear if Android Messages will change this behavior or not.

Download

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.

Version: 21.0.172111571

Google Wallet
Google Wallet
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free