Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.
People in the UK have long been able to purchase apps and other goodies from the Google Play store using traditional methods, but as of yet there hasn't been an option to buy gift cards for redemption online like you can with other stores.
Fortunately, it looks like that could soon be changing; the Google Play redeem page now allows you to enter a redemption code from a gift card, although you can't actually buy the cards in shops yet.
Corroborating some pretty hard evidence of the physical Google Wallet card's existence we revealed last week, TechCrunch noticed this morning that a definite reference to that card has appeared on Wallet's official support site. More importantly, though, this confirms my own suspicions about the future of the Google Wallet app in light of the physical card: near-universal compatibility.
According to the support page, the new non-NFC version of the Wallet app will be compatible with any Android 2.3.3+ device, which is pretty much the vast majority of Android devices out there.
As we know by now, Google Wallet has been facing a lot of resistance. Major US carriers are blocking it while competition is getting intense. Google's fighting back, though, and word has it that new partnerships may be in the works. More importantly, Google is primed to introduce a physical Google Wallet card.
It's time to go APK spelunking again. Today's target is Google Wallet!
Remember this Google Wallet Q&A? The Wallet team took to YouTube and fielded user-submitted questions ranging from "When will Wallet work on my carrier?" to "When will Wallet work in my country?" with the answer to just about everything being "we're looking into it." One exception in the non-committal answer-fest was person to person transactions, with the Walleteers saying to "stay tuned" and hinting that an announcement would be coming soon.
If you have a Galaxy S III on US Cellular, we're here to give you some good news: you're getting Google Wallet. And you can probably actually get it today if you download the update manually from Samsung. First, though, let's take a look at this leaked image showing the changes the update brings:
Basically, a lot of updates to stock apps, and various bug fixes you can see detailed in the image above.
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.
So, you've heard a lot about this Google Wallet thing, but how does it actually work? How do you add a card? Is it secure?
Those may be a few of the questions floating around in your head about Google's pay-with-your-mobile service. Never fear, though, Wallet Wonderers - Google just published three new videos to help you better understand how Wallet works and how easy it is to use.
So, watch the videos and hit the widget at the bottom to install Wallet...
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!
It's no secret that Google Wallet got off to an extremely rough start. The service was announced nearly a year ago to a mild amount of fanfare, then almost immediately started hitting barrier after barrier, fighting for carrier and card support. Just a few days ago, they revealed that the big four (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) were finally on board, thus bringing the service many steps closer to actually...