If you use PayPal (and who doesn't?), and have been pretty unhappy with its mobile app (and who isn't?) today brings a much-needed change. The company just released v5.0 of its app, which brings a completely redesigned interface – and I'm not talking about one of those "completely redesigned" interfaces that moves some menus and changes a few colors, either; this is a complete overhaul – along with a slew of new features.
A few days ago Google announced this crazy new feature that allows you to attach actual money to Gmail messages. We've discovered the feature is actually up and running, you just have to be invited!
To get invited, someone just has to send you some amount of money over Gmail - a penny will do fine. So, find someone who has access to it, give them your email, receive a penny, and you're in!
PayPal's official Android app received a big update recently, bringing it up to version 188.8.131.52. The update carries a much-needed interface redesign, bringing the web payment solution's mobile client more into line with Android's design language. Using a warm, espresso-and-orange color scheme with a few well-placed textures and conservative gradients, the app's new interface looks infinitely better than its previous iteration.
The update isn't just about looks though – it also carries some functional improvements.
Have you ever used Square, the service that lets you accept credit card payments directly on your mobile? It's a pretty satisfying experience to be able to take a payment from anywhere you are, especially for small business owners.
Hey, look! It's that phone.
Not to let Square have all the fun, PayPal is now launching a similar service that it calls "PayPal Here." It's basically just like Square, though at first glance it seems that the app may be a bit more full-featured.
All day in my RSS reader, I've been hearing about how PayPal is coming to the Android Market. Someone ripped apart the latest Market APK and found references to PayPal, assumed this was new, and assumed that it meant PayPal support would be soon be hitting the Market.
The problem is it's not new, we found PayPal references in the market going all the way back to 3.0.26, the first release of the current market design.
It's been a while since the Nexus S hit the Android scene, bringing two noteworthy new features with it: Gingerbread and NFC. While the former has seen relatively wide adoption, the latter hasn't gotten much action as of yet - the closest we've come to witnessing a useful example of the technology is Google Wallet, and we have yet to find out when that will be available for public consumption.
The PayPal and Google lawsuit is just another one of Google's seemingly endless big-name legal tangles over the last couple of years. Why is Google litigation such a frequent topic?
At least in part, it's because Google has one of the most aggressive stances towards litigation of any member of the tech industry. Google's reputation for taking its battles to court has become almost notorious (well, except for the "Buzz" incident) - regardless of cost or, sometimes, likelihood of victory.
PayPal for Android has, at long last, been updated with a killer-feature iUsers have enjoyed since last October: camera-based check scanning and depositing. As a frequent PayPal user, myself, I have to say: this is awesome. Checks are the very bane of my (financial) existence; I mean, who uses checks? Every time I get one of those evil little slips, I scurry down to my local Wells Fargo, wasting precious gasoline and time - assuming it doesn't just sit on my desk for a month, taunting me with its hand-scrawled promise of currency (if you haven't noticed, I'm kind of lazy.)
Yes, I'm poor
While I could wait for Wells Fargo to implement such a feature, I might be waiting a while: their Android app is still just a URL bar-less mobile web page.
In an attempt to generate extra buzz for using their payment system in Android apps, Paypal has started a contest for developers with a grand prize of $25,000.
Remaining vague in the competition's criteria, the eBay-owned company simply asks devs to integrate secure payments into their Android apps, adding that they would like "something new, something surprising, something with business potential." In addition to the $25K grand prize, the runner up will receive $15,000, followed by $10,000 for third place (much more generous than the kitchen appliances they give you on Wheel of Fortune).
In what is certainly a grade-A dropping of the ball, it looks like somebody accidently pulled the trigger on a post at PayPal's Blog before it was time to. We say accidently because the post read:
... reporting from Innovate 2010. Today, Google announced that you can use PayPal to buy apps on their Android Market.
The only thing is, at the time the post went live, no such thing had been revealed yet - whoops.