In the last few months, Android Pay has been popping up quite a bit with expansions into new territories, support for more banks and credit unions, and of course, new features. The latest update began rolling out this morning and looks basically unchanged, but a teardown shows that Google is preparing to give users a reason to poke around in the app more often. Loyalty programs are about to get a fairly significant upgrade that will allow them to feature special offers to members.
Boom! The Woot app is finally, officially, available on Android. How 'bout that? Boom! It's all about the website's exclusive offers and daily deals, in a sweet material design. Boom! There's even a cool navigation drawer and scrolling. Scrolling, you guys. Boom! If you're wondering about the explosion sound effects, you should watch the app's promo video below. Boom!
For a first legit try at an Android app, Woot really nailed most of the design and interactions.
Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.
Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run. There's nothing unusual here; it's just your typical setup steps with a basic explanation of Newsstand and a screen at the end prompting users to pick a few preferred topics.
The Google Maps Android app has been updated to version 6.7, bringing some new important (and useful) features. You probably figured out what they are. Here's the changelog:
What's in this version:
Discover nearby Google Offers in the US
Indoor walking directions (Beta) for Japan and the US
See 360° panoramas inside restaurants and stores
Google Offers has been having difficulty gaining traction in a market dominated by the Groupons and LivingSocials of the world, and Maps integration may be just what it needs to start getting a little respect. You can actually set it up so while you're in the maps app, Offers will let you know if the area you're hovering over contains any...
If Google's Groupon competitor Offers is available in your area, then you you'll be happy to know that the companion app to the service has just been released to the Android Market. The app allows you to find and buy the best deals in your area on-the-go, as well as notify you about deals that match your interests and allow you to purchase and redeem them instantly.
Nice interface. Very ICS-y.
Offers is free in the Market, hit the link below to download it.
Yelp received an update today, and it adds a brand-new mobile-exclusive feature called Deals, which is essentially a competitor to Groupon's Groupon Now!. The Deals button found on the updated app integrates Yelp Special Offers, Check-In Offers, and its time/location-sensitive Deals all into a single, location-based menu.
Like Groupon Now!, you can only view offers within a certain distance of your current location (which is to say, it can't be manually set). The fact that it puts together all of Yelp's discount systems into a single list is really pretty handy, but unfortunately, there's no option to filter or sort the results.
Update: Don't install this app until it gets an update - it will turn your GPS on every 10 seconds to update your location info, and won't stop unless you Force Stop it from the Manage Applications screen. It was at 68% on my phone's battery usage menu after 6 hours of doing little with my phone aside from checking e-mail sporadically. Yuck.
Have you ever wanted an app that aggregates your favorite daily deal and special offer services into a single, location-based list? I certainly have. Oddly enough, T-Mobile has launched just such an app, called "More for Me." We've all seen carrier-branded applications before, like Verizon's VCAST app store (and their veritable crappy cornucopia of other apps), but most of them suck.
A few days ago, we told you that Google was most likely going to announce a mobile payment service using NFC. Today, that announcement is official, and it's called Google Wallet. Wallet is exactly what the name suggests: a payment service that aggregates all of your credit cards, coupons, loyalty cards, and more, into your Android phone. You can then not only use your phone to pay, but it will also enter your customer loyalty information automatically, as well as redeem any coupons that are loaded into your Wallet using NFC (near field communication).
Here are a few bullets about Wallet, how it works, and what to expect:
This service is going to officially launch this summer, but a beta program is already underway in San Francisco and NYC.