Some people download a million apps to their Android phone, one for each and every activity. Coincidentally, these are also the people who ask their brother why their phone, which was lightning fast when they got it, is suddenly struggling to open the homescreen under the load of three different QR code readers. (Not that I'm pointing fingers. Bekie.) For those who prefer to keep fewer apps installed, the latest PayPal update adds the ability to scan and retrieve gift cards.
That fingerprint reader that came with your Samsung Galaxy gadget can secure your lockscreen, but unlocking your device isn't the only task it can help speed up. For heavy PayPal users, it can be an ideal way to make online purchases more quickly. Instead of keying in your PayPal credentials, you can apply your print. Now this ability has come to the Play Store version of the app.
To take advantage of the functionality, you need a Galaxy phone or tablet with a fingerprint reader such as S5, Note 4, Alpha, or Tab S.
Back in May 2014, Google Play started accepting Paypal as a payment method in 12 countries around the world including the US, UK, France, Germany, and more. Those of you unlucky enough to live outside of this approved list were left having to use carrier billing or a silly plastic credit card to get their fix of apps, games, and various entertainment things. If you live in Australia, Greece, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, or Sweden, and hated this exclusion, the Google Gods might be smiling down on you now because Paypal payments are now available for you too.
Several years back this company called Square produced a product that let people accept credit card payments on their smartphones using this portable swiper-thingy that plugs into the device's headphone jack. PayPal saw this and decided that it wanted in on this action, so it produced a similar offering known as PayPal Here. The solution worked with phones, but many businesses relying on such products for point-of-sale like to use tablets instead.
Updates are typically exciting, but just like they can add new features, they can also take them away. Version 5.5 of PayPal's Android app tells precisely this type of story. The latest release adds in the ability to link loyalty cards to an account and reduce the strain on wallets everywhere. It also brings in faster logins, though this second change takes place behind the scenes, as the login screen looks just like it did before.
Google has certainly been busy today with all sorts of Play Store improvements, and here's a new version of the Android client to top it all off. Version 4.8.19 has started rolling out to devices, and we've got the APK below for you to install on your own.
We're digging in to see what's new. We already knew about the PayPal and some UI tweaks, but it's looking like there's more going on.
PayPal's Here direct sale and money transfer service is an admirable rival to the similar Square, and before today its standard Android app was perfectly fine. But you can't deny that it looked a little... iPhoney. Thankfully the second release of the PayPal Here app brings the user interface more in line with other polished Android apps, and throws a little expanded functionality in for good measure.
The whole app has been simplified and streamlined, according to the change log, and customers should now be able to swipe their credit or debit cards at any time during the purchasing process.
Much of the commerce that takes place on the web goes through PayPal, so if you're accessing the service from a mobile device, you should take extra precautions to secure your account. With the latest version, you can now link your phone to your account so that the service can better verify that you are indeed the person trying to access it. The app has a new SMS permission that is necessary to link up your number.