While Google and the ISIS consortium duke it out over the future of Near Field Communication and the payment systems that use it, one of the largest financial institutions in the US had decided to ignore it. Reuters reports that Bank Of America is testing a new system that will only require retailers to display a single image. Ideally this would negate the need for new hardware for both sellers and buyers - all that's required is an Android or iOS device with a camera and a mobile connection.
Today, Spotify's Android app received an update that should please audiophiles the world over (where available): if you're using the mobile app on Ice Cream Sandwich or above, you can now access an equalizer from the Settings menu. The features is actually called "Audio Effects" in 4.0, but on Jelly Bean it's been changed to the more readily-recognizable "Equalizer" moniker.
Also new is the ability to share music via NFC.
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.
If you asked someone off the street what Everything Everywhere was, they probably wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. The company is yet to establish its own brand presence in the UK, but it's certainly busy setting things up behind the scenes.
For those of you who don't know, the company has been around for a while, ever since the merger of T-Mobile and Orange. Just last week, we learnt that the network would be the first to launch 4G in the UK, and now it's partnered with MasterCard to offer NFC payments on its devices in a 5-year deal.
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.
When Google announced that it would support all major credit and debit cards, it was big news. What may have slipped under the radar, however, is that Mountain View also sent an open invitation to card issuers to sign up for tighter integration into the service. Today, Google is announcing that you can add your Discover card to Google Wallet directly from your account on Discover's website. You even get fancy card graphics now, too!
Holy crap - Google Wallet just dropped a bomb on everyone and announced that the service now supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We sort of suspected something like this would happen, and Google has managed to do it by making Wallet payments partially cloud-based, as opposed to a fully embedded system.
This means Wallet will work offline for the actual payment (it stores an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip), but does require an active internet connection if you want switch payment options or add a new one.
We all know the scenario: a friend or family member is at your place and needs to connect to the Wi-Fi. At that point, you have a few choices (none of which are ideal): hand them a piece of paper with the network key, tell it to them aloud, or enter it for them.
Wouldn't it be so much easier to let them tap an NFC tag (granted they actually have an NFC-capable phone) or scan a QR code?
When last we heard from the RAZR HD, it was posing for blurry cam shots. The new Motorola device, which is rumored to be packing a 13MP camera, LTE, and a mega 3,300 mAh battery, has gone through the FCC's fine-tooth comb and come out the other side. According to the filings, the device, which we know uses the code name XT926, is packing CDMA bands (800/1900), so we can likely expect this device to land on Verizon before too long.