If the presentations at Google I/O last month were any indication, Android Pay is growing quite quickly. Several new features were announced, but most were still only demos, not available to the public. A fresh update to the Android Pay app came out yesterday and a teardown reveals a few of those key features are either ready to launch or getting closer. There's also work being done on a map that will show merchants in close proximity that accept Android Pay, and a shortcut already showing up that will direct users to apps with Android Pay integration. Read More
The information age has not been kind to the humble bookstore. After mega-chains valiantly tried and failed to compete with the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon, only Barnes & Noble is left in the US (and it's quickly becoming a showroom for LEGO and Pop Vinyl toys as much as an actual bookseller). A few indies are surviving thanks to a small resurgence of dead tree reading and some trendy makeovers, but the writing is on the wall. Read More
Google has had a fairly rough time convincing consumers to use Wallet for in-store purchases. However, with the recent acquisition of Softcard's "technology" alongside plans to preload Wallet on Android phones from most major US carriers, Google is putting its weight behind a renewed effort to be a major player at brick-and-mortar locations. Amidst rumors that Google still has something else to announce at I/O, Ars Technica received a tip that a brand new payment platform called Android Pay will be announced at the conference.
According to the source, Android Pay is specifically geared for mobile devices and allows 3rd-party apps to drive both virtual and real-world purchases through a single interface. Read More
If you've ever felt the urge to indulge in Android-branded consumerism in the same way that Apple fans do, you might soon get the chance... if you live in India. The Economic Times reports that Google plans to open an Android-branded store called Android Nation in New Delhi's Select Citywalk shopping center. The store will feature Android hardware from multiple brands (not just Nexus devices) and operate in partnership with Asian conglomerate Spice Mobile. More stores across India are in the planning stage.
One of Android Nation's Jakarta locations. Photo via Tech In Asia
According to the anonymous source, Google has been scouting for a small retail area in the city for some time, with the aim of establishing an "Android experience." Think accessories, hands-on demo units, technical assistance, apps on touchscreen monitors, et cetera. Read More
Yesterday, Amazon made waves by announcing what experts are calling "a bajillion new Kindles." Pre-orders went live yesterday from Amazon, but if you'd rather pick yours up from a store like they used to do when your parents were kids, Best Buy is now offering you that chance. You will have to give up that cardboard grin, though:
All of the new Kindles will be available for pre-order, including the non-Androidy ones. Here's a list of which devices will be available when:
September 14: Kindle e-reader ($69), updated Kindle Fire ($159), 7" Kindle Fire HD ($199
October: Kindle Paperwhite ($119, $179 for 3G)
"Before Christmas": 8.9" Kindle Fire HD ($299), Kindle Fire HD LTE ($499)
It's a little unnerving that Best Buy is using the "before Christmas" language, when Amazon stated that orders would ship on November 20th for some of the late-bloomers among yesterday's announcements. Read More