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.
We started hearing reports the other day that Google had thrown the switch to allow Citi cards to be added in Android Pay, but we were unable to get confirmation. Now the Android Pay site has been updated, and there can be no doubt. Citi is a go.
We know that Android Pay is going to drop any day now, and that means Google Wallet is changing too. The Wallet app will no longer be used for paying in stores, but it will be used to send money. The new Wallet app is now live in the Play Store as a different listing than the existing Wallet app.
Most of the app updates this week were relatively quiet, with the notable exception of Play Music with its new ad-supported radio feature. That doesn't have to mean some of the updates don't have something new to offer. The Google app (formerly "Search") was bumped up to v4.8 yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have any noticeable changes right now. However, a look under the hood reveals some pretty interesting features on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
Simple is a bank from the future (or the past, I guess), one that lacks physical branches and expects you to handle all of your transactions over the web from a PC or mobile device. After quite a wait, the Portland-based company has pushed out an update to its Android app that comes with enough visual tweaks to make the experience look Lollipop-friendly.
The previous version—which was already clean and, dare I say, simple—looked like a KitKat holdover. With 2.2, the designers have slid the hamburger button from the edge of the screen and tossed a floating action button into the bottom right corner.
Google Wallet has existed for almost four years, but everyone suddenly wants to be involved with mobile payments now that Apple Pay is a thing. Samsung Pay is expected later this year, and Microsoft is rumored to be preparing its own NFC payment service called Microsoft Payments. The news comes by way of a regulatory filing in which Microsoft applies to deploy a money transmission service in all 50 states.
Square released Cash a while back to make it easier to send and receive money on your mobile device, but now it's even easier with "$Cashtags." Get it? It's like a hashtag, but for money. You know some marketing manager was giddy after coming up with that. It's not all fun and games, though. Cash now also supports businesses with an option called Cash Pro.
Bad news, Europe. Global economic forces, combined with the uncertainty over planned quantitative easing have reduced the value of the Euro, resulting in lower buying power for European consumers. Oh, and a smartphone maker is raising its prices. Outrageous! OnePlus has announced an impending price increase for the One in Europe to compensate for the lower value of the currency, but you've got until March 25th to get the current price.