Well hello there, Galaxy Axiom - where have you been hiding? We spotted it on Google's Wallet support site, and this budget LTE phone seems to have been slipped into the lineup of US Cellular without the carrier or Samsung itself making much of a fuss. What's even more interesting is that it's certified for Google Wallet, since US Cellular is blissfully without an ISIS-flavored conflict of interest when it comes to mobile payments.
Corroborating some pretty hard evidence of the physical Google Wallet card's existence we revealed last week, TechCrunch noticed this morning that a definite reference to that card has appeared on Wallet's official support site. More importantly, though, this confirms my own suspicions about the future of the Google Wallet app in light of the physical card: near-universal compatibility.
According to the support page, the new non-NFC version of the Wallet app will be compatible with any Android 2.3.3+ device, which is pretty much the vast majority of Android devices out there.
While we're just hearing that an entirely new version of Google Wallet is on the way (what exactly is new about it is what we don't know), Google announced via Twitter that MetroPCS is the latest Wallet carrier partner. The Galaxy S III is the only Wallet-compatible device on Metro for the moment, but you can probably expect most future Metro phones to carry Wallet support, as well.
Happy to announce that @metropcs now supports Google Wallet!Have a Samsung Galaxy SIII on MetroPCS?
If you head over to this URL right now, you'll land on a signup page to get an invitation for a new version of Google Wallet. Yep, Wallet is doing something big. And we're not sure what, but we fully expect it to be announced very soon (like, today). The landing page suggests the new Wallet will support multiple mobile platforms - including iOS - not just Android. Take a look:
Yeah, we're excited, too.
Google went on a minor update spree this afternoon, issuing revisions to four Google apps on the Play Store, including Play Music, Wallet, Drive, and Shopper. All four updates are relatively mundane, but here are the various changes.
Hidden in the old Drive changelog from the previous update (here) is a small note regarding gestures. The new version is 126.96.36.199.
11. Updates to gesture detection
Shopper has received the most substantial update of the four to v2.6, with changes to filtering options and search, as well as performance and stability improvements.
If you have a Galaxy S III on US Cellular, we're here to give you some good news: you're getting Google Wallet. And you can probably actually get it today if you download the update manually from Samsung. First, though, let's take a look at this leaked image showing the changes the update brings:
Basically, a lot of updates to stock apps, and various bug fixes you can see detailed in the image above.
Well, that just came right the flip out of nowhere. Google just sent out an email informing Google Wallet users that, as of September 17th, you will no longer be able to add funds to your Google Prepaid Card. After that, you have one month to spend any remaining balance, before it's no longer available. You can still receive a refund for the balance here, though, so Google's not just stealing your money.
Jelly Bean may be all the rage at the moment, but the CyanogenMod team hasn't forgotten about their Ice Cream Sandwich implementation. Tucked in with the newly updated CyanogenMod 9.1 is support for the brand new SimplyTapp near-field communication system. SimplyTap is the labor of love of two dedicated CyanogenMod users, with the aim of broadening NFC payment usage via a more open implementation of the embattled standard. Currently the Tapp app is only compatible with CyanogenMod 9.1 - CM10 is moving a little too quickly to reliably add the necessary code.
This morning, Google had a Wallet developer Q&A session on the Google Developers blog, featuring Robin Dua, the product manager for Wallet.
Dua hinted that person to person payments could be headed to Wallet soon, so be on the lookout for that. He also emphasized Wallet's focus on getting small businesses on board with the company's loyalty reward and offer platforms.
More interestingly, when asked in a viewer question why Wallet was only supported on a limited number of carriers, Dua responded that Google was in active negotiations with "a number" of carriers, and that he "hope[d] to have some new partnerships to announce soon." While clearly implying that there is a possibility of failure, the fact that Dua spoke to such negotiations at all is encouraging.
So, you've heard a lot about this Google Wallet thing, but how does it actually work? How do you add a card? Is it secure?
Those may be a few of the questions floating around in your head about Google's pay-with-your-mobile service. Never fear, though, Wallet Wonderers - Google just published three new videos to help you better understand how Wallet works and how easy it is to use.
So, watch the videos and hit the widget at the bottom to install Wallet...