Google dropped the news last week that Nearby was about to get a whole lot more interesting. With the use of Bluetooth and a special blend of tricks collectively known as Location Services, Google will enable Android devices to learn about all manner of things in close proximity, whether they be Eddystone beacons, Chromecasts, or even Android Wear watches waiting to be set up. In the announcement, it was mentioned that an update to Google Play services would be rolling out shortly that adds support for all of these new features, and this is the one. While most of the features have already been disclosed, there's one in the teardown that wasn't mentioned. Read More
Google Wallet is nearing the end of its rope and Android Pay has risen to take its place as everyone's favorite online and in-store payment method. Apps have started rolling support for Android Pay and Uber is no exception. Users of the app who have previously used Google Wallet to pay for a ride are getting emails from Uber telling them that the payment method will no longer be supported starting May 9.
Instead, they can now add Android Pay to, erm, pay for rides. Along with a credit/debit card and Paypal, this will be the third payment option available to users of Uber. Read More
All good things must come to an end, and that goes double for things that aren't very good. Google is sending out emails to everyone who has a Google Wallet card explaining that support for the card is ending on June 30th. We first reported on this a few days ago when strings in a new version of the Wallet app made it clear Google was preparing to discontinue the card. Read More
The first signs of the Google Wallet Card were discovered during an APK Teardown, so it only seems fitting that its death should also be foretold the same way. That's right, the real life Wallet Card is not long for this world. Text found in the Google Wallet v14 update reveals plans to terminate the versatile little card on June 30th.
Google's story with a physical card has always been pretty tumultuous. In mid-2013, AllThingsD posted a report about a clunky demo of the project in front of an already unsatisfied Larry Page. This led to the removal of Wallet's then current Vice President, Osama Bedier, and all but confirmed the project was probably doomed. Read More
We've been getting tips about this for months, but now it's finally happening. Google has announced on the official Android blog that Android Pay is coming to the UK, with major bank and retail support in tow. The post says, "in the next few months Android smartphones will become even more useful with the launch of Android Pay," meaning we don't know exactly when it's coming. But be assured it is. In fact, various people have been reporting that Nationwide cards have worked for payment since the start of this month, although we can't verify this.
The major banks mentioned include Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Nationwide, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland (although not Royal Bank of Scotland). Read More
Coupons are great. Who doesn't like saving money on stuff? (Or better yet, free stuff.) But we can all agree that keeping track of coupons is awful. With this in mind, Google introduced the Save To Wallet API way back in 2012. It was a pretty simple way to transfer loyalty card or coupon information directly from a webpage or email into the Wallet app. Unfortunately, Android apps didn't get this same feature until two years later (yeah, this was clearly a priority). Then the whole Wallet reorganization happened and Android Pay was born.
The "Save to Wallet" API was renamed "Save To Android Pay," and pretty much everyone proceeded to continue ignoring it. Read More
In an upcoming update to the Google Wallet app for Android, Google will let you send money to anyone in your contacts list with a valid phone number. The new feature was announced on Google's Commerce Blog, and for now is US-only, which we have since confirmed with Google.
The new feature works by sending a secure link over SMS to the contact you select, which leads to a web page where your contact can enter their debit card details to claim the money. Read More
The Google Wallet app just received a version bump, bringing it up to v11.0-R234-v13. (Seriously, what is up with this version number?) Like some of the other updates this week, there aren't any big changes, but the changes that are there will tighten up some of the oversights and issues that were left in the wake of Google splitting Wallet into two separate apps. The new version has a handful of minor visual tweaks and bug fixes, but more importantly it adds support for multiple bank accounts and a new button to quickly lock the app for security.
Multiple Bank Accounts
The Wallet app has always supported multiple credit and debit cards, but it strangely limited users to just one single bank account. Read More
Android Pay has turned out to be much more than a simple rebranding of Google Wallet. Google is working with banks to support cards natively and doing away with those virtual MasterCards altogether. However, the lack of support for rooted or ROM'd devices has irked power users. A Google engineer popped up on XDA to explain the reasoning and calm the mob. Read More
Android Pay is finally here and it's pretty much everything we expected it to be. While there are plenty of questions about where we can use it, which credit cards can be set up, and why it's so aggressive with brightness even when barcodes aren't on screen, the actual act of spending money is about as straight-forward as it could be. As it turns out, there's one feature Google hasn't really discussed yet, but it could become the best thing about using a phone to buy things. Android Pay can automatically redeem special offers, submit account details for loyalty programs, and make a payment in just one tap to a payment terminal. Read More