Walmart (the parent company of Sam's Club) has been testing a service called Shop & Go for several years now. The idea is that you shop normally, scan in items with a barcode app, pay from the app via a credit card/debit card/store payment system, then just walk out the door - no need to go through the cashier's line at all. Previously the program was limited to only a few hundred stores and it only worked on the iPhone, but it looks like the company is ready to put a more widespread version out for the Sam's Club bulk retailer stores. Read More
Unlike some of my colleagues in the tech media, I don't have any particular beef with Walmart. Yes, they sell cheap imported crap, and yes, they under-pay their employees, stiffing both the people who make stuff and the people who sell stuff. But if you object to that strongly enough to actually change your buying habits, you'll soon run out of places to buy things. I do, however, object to the idea of a mobile payment system that works at exactly one store. That's taking the biggest problem with mobile payments as a whole, the lack of inter-operability, and turning it into a selling point. Read More
Something about Thanksgiving seems to do weird things to retailers every year. They drop their prices and their customers show up in the dead of the night acting like werewolves during a full moon. Personally, I think the stuffing is to blame. I mean, have you ever taken a close look at that stuff? It already looks like leftovers the first time you serve it.
Anyways, Walmart seems to have eaten a lot of stuffing, because they have all kinds of deals going on. Read More
Over on the Android Developer's Google+ page an awesome new feature for Google's voice search was just announced. A small selection of applications will now open directly when using certain voice commands. For example, you can now say, "Ok Google, find houses near me on Zillow," and Google will automatically start the Zillow app, showing a map of properties near your current location (this also works with the applications for Trulia and Realtor.com). Previously a query like this would have directed you to Zillow's mobile site and given you a link to download Zillow's app.
Let me give you a few more examples of what you can do with the new voice commands. Read More
Among postpaid plans, shared data has become par for the course. Your family (or "family") gets a certain allocation of data that everyone is allowed to use. This way instead of everyone getting 2GB of 3G/4G LTE, with a few people hardly touching their allotment and others burning through theirs in a week, the heavy users can have at the otherwise unused data as well.
Now Virgin Mobile is bringing the same treatment to prepaid, no-contract plans. In a deal that's available exclusively at Walmart, the Sprint subsidiary is letting customers sign up for a "Data Done Right" plan for roughly $30 a line. Read More
The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 typically costs you roughly $500, but Walmart's currently willing to part with one online for around $400 instead. Sure, there's a catch. It's refurbished. But if that doesn't bother you, you can get a 16GB version for $399.99. The 32GB option is going for just $30 more. Both are available in black and white.
To make this deal even better, you can get $21.50 off the 32GB option if you pay using a Discover card. Doing so will take $20 off the smaller model. At that price, it's even cheaper than the last refurbished deal to hit these parts. Read More
Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen! If you sprint to Walmart between November 20th and 26th, you can apparently pick yourself up a very vintage Moto X running none other than Android 2.3. Those on-screen buttons and #HOLOYOLO accents look pretty spiffy on this fine Gingerbread device, don't they?
Curiously, on November 29th, the same phone not only drops to half price for Black Friday, it also gets a ninja upgrade to Android 4.2 and a $100 Walmart gift card (which is actually a pretty good deal since you're effectively netting 50 bucks - after signing a contract, of course).
The mention of "Android 2.3" also made it to the printed circulars (thanks, Stephen Scott! Read More
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting. The Galaxy S II is definitely getting long in the tooth, but it's also not a bad phone by any stretch of the imagination. The really exciting part is that once you buy it, for $30 a month you can get a prepaid T-Mobile plan that gives you 5GB of 4G data, unlimited texting, and 100 minutes of voice (come on, who uses minutes?). Read More
Yesterday, a rumor at the Wall Street Journal stated that major retailers like Walmart, Target, and 7-Eleven were in the process of teaming up to create their own mobile payment solution. They sure didn't waste much time on making it official, as this morning that solution was announced as "MCX" - or, Merchant Customer Exchange. Sexy.
This is a big deal, though. And it's a big deal because of the names in the headline above - quite literally most places where Americans buy things have come together to create a mobile wallet system. But it's not just Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Read More