A mobile payment service is only useful if you can, you know, use it... which must be pretty disheartening for customers of smaller banks and credit unions. Each one of them needs to be certified with new payment systems before their customers can join in the "fun" of paying for stuff with their phones. Today Samsung Pay, the semi-proprietary system that's surprisingly interoperable thanks to some neat payment tech, adds a whopping 19 new Visa and MasterCard issuers to its list of compatible banks and similar companies.
A late-night update to the Play Store slipped out just before midnight. A close examination doesn't turn up any big visual changes or new features, but this version is begging for a teardown. I'm not going to beat around the bush, if you've read the title, you know why you're here. Yes, it's true, family sharing and gifting are on the way. No doubt about it. There's even a neat way to add credit cards if they have NFC. There's no point in teasing it out, just get to reading. If you want to jump straight to downloading the latest version, there's a link at the bottom of the post.
If you've been waiting patiently for your top-of-the-line Google flagship phone to arrive, you won't have to wait too much longer. If you haven't been waiting patiently, you probably don't have long to wait either, but you should really be more gracious about it. We've been sent reports from multiple Android Police readers saying that their credit cards have been charged after ordering the Nexus 6P on the Play Store, which typically means that they'll be shipped very soon. At this point, all of them are in the United States.
These customers were presumably among the first to order the Nexus 6P from the Google Store, so those who got their orders in later will probably be looking at a week or more of delays.
Amazon's Android app has received an update to 5.1 that's all about reducing how much typing you need to do to use the app. We've spotted changes to the search UI that make it possible to perform inquiries using your voice. We've also come across strings hinting that credit card scanning is either already included or on its way.
When you hit the magnifying glass in the action bar to begin a search, the screen that appears will now contain a microphone for voice searches. Tapping on this will prompt the question: "What are you searching for?" The process saves you a tap, as you no longer need to hit the mic on your keyboard.
Nearly a year ago, this company called Coin came to the Internet with a product, also called Coin, that it promised would store all of your credit, debit, and loyalty cards inside of a single nifty replacement. People could pre-order this Bluetooth-connected card for $50, and they were told they would receive it by summer of 2014, otherwise known as the season that just ended. Where are their cards? Well, they're still available for pre-order, and orders placed now aren't expected to arrive until the summer of 2015.
In the wake of such an unfortunate turn of events, another company has come forth with a similar product.
People are after your credit card information. Okay, this isn't a cable news report, so I'll dial it back a bit. Sometimes bad things happen when credit cards fall into the wrong hands, whether that's from physical theft or large-scale cyber crime. There's been a number of incidents in the news of late, so companies are doing what they can to provide their customers with peace of mind. So MasterCard has released a new MasterCard In Control app that monitors your credit card activity and notifies you if it detects anything suspicious.
The app displays your credit card purchases and allows you to set up alerts for all kinds of activity.
PayPal's Here direct sale and money transfer service is an admirable rival to the similar Square, and before today its standard Android app was perfectly fine. But you can't deny that it looked a little... iPhoney. Thankfully the second release of the PayPal Here app brings the user interface more in line with other polished Android apps, and throws a little expanded functionality in for good measure.
The whole app has been simplified and streamlined, according to the change log, and customers should now be able to swipe their credit or debit cards at any time during the purchasing process.
As a tech addict who lives in a remote area, Amazon Prime is a godsend for me: getting stuff delivered to my door quickly when it would otherwise necessitate a three hour round trip is well worth the nominal fee. Amazon hopes you'll agree, and to that end they've now included the ability to sign up for an Amazon Prime free trial right in the official Amazon app.
If you qualify for Prime (and just about everybody does), you can sign up for a 30-day trial within the app itself. Cancel within the trial period to avoid the yearly charge, which is currently $79.
If you sell wares or services on a one-to-one basis, you know that Square is a godsend for credit card point of sale. While the original Android app didn't have any real issues, the newly-updated version is even better, applying a cleaner and more readable UI and a handful of new features. Most importantly, it works with the newest version of Square's headphone jack card reader.
New shots above, old shots below.
You can see how the new app more effectively uses space in the screenshots above. The changes have been made to match both the iOS version and the web dashboard, which should make it less jarring for customers who frequently see both.
We were ridiculously excited by the prospect of a physical Google Wallet card when we reported on it just over a year ago, but six months went by without a peep until eventually the project was canned. Thankfully, awesome ideas don't disappear just because one company decides it's not ready to make them happen. Coin, a startup out of San Francisco, has announced a card of its own that promises to deliver much of what we were excited to see Google pull off themselves.
Coin doesn't look all that different from a typical credit card, but it has the potential to make our wallets significantly lighter.