Shortly after ISIS-affiliated gunmen killed over a hundred people in multiple attacks in Paris on Friday evening, Google allowed users of its Hangouts chat platform to make free VOIP calls to France from anywhere. Later this weekend American telecom companies have followed suit. Read More
While we've been following this rumor for months now, Google made Android Pay official during today's keynote. We first heard the name back in February, and knew something was coming ever since they acquired the intellectual property of mobile payment competitor Isis, an agreement that would also make Wallet a pre-installed app on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon phones. Though it was announced as part of Android M, it will work on KitKat and newer versions.
Functions new to Android Pay include the ability to tap to pay within apps. For apps that use the Pay API, you will only have to click "Buy with Android Pay" and leave the arduous typing of numbers and addresses to the automated system. Read More
After several weeks of rumors, Google has announced their partnership with Softcard. The purpose of this venture is to combine forces with Google Wallet, which has been around since 2011 but never enjoyed wide usage. With Apple Pay having recently entered the fray, Google apparently felt the time is now to get their service back on the map. Buying their competitor Softcard's technology, though, is just the beginning.
In addition to gaining Softcard's back end, Google Wallet will soon be preloaded on all phones sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the United States. Read More
According to the latest rumors circulating in Silicon Valley, Google is mulling a possible acquisition of NFC payment provider Softcard. Perhaps that name doesn't sound familiar—it used to be Isis until that unpleasantness in the Middle East forced a name change. Apparently those mega-creepy ads didn't do the trick because the rumors point to a very low sale price.
In a move that is both troubling and confusing, India’s Department of Telecom has compelled ISPs to block a group of popular websites at the DNS level. While the initial reasoning was unknown, it has since been reported that this ban is due to the websites allegedly playing host to content favorable to the terrorist group ISIS. The banned list includes many popular and largely non-political sites like Github and Vimeo.
Banned sites include Github, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Archive.org, and Pastebin. The entire purported list of blocked URLs is below from Pranesh Prakash.
Tweets from a senior official of India’s ruling party read,
Believe it or not, a lot of Android fans were happy to see Apple announce its new Apple Pay system with the iPhone 6. Thanks to its reliance on NFC technology (welcome to 2011, Cupertino!) and Apple's famous marketing muscle, it meant that NFC payments might finally start taking off, particularly in the US. The same NFC-equipped registers that work with Apple Pay generally work with Google Wallet as well.
Then popular drugstores CVS and Rite-Aid started blocking Apple Pay, which apparently means blocking all NFC payments, including Google Wallet. It turns out that a cabal of US retailers are already working on a proprietary mobile payment system, CurrentC. Read More
I've only spent a small amount of time taking business classes, and none of them were for marketing. But I have to imagine that somewhere in those big, expensive textbooks, when instruction young minds how to promote a product, is the lesson "don't associate with bloodthirsty terrorists." The electronic mobile payment consortium Isis, wishing to completely and totally distance itself from the ISIS currently holding large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, is changing its name to Softcard.
Regular readers of this blog will recognize Isis as the joint effort between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon to create a standard for paying for physical goods with Android phones. Read More
Isis Mobile Wallet may have developed somewhat of a bad rep around these parts because it was the carrier-approved NFC payment alternative to Google Wallet, but no matter how many negative insults a few tech geeks have lobbed at it over the past few years, nothing has shaken the company quite like what the acronym ISIS is more commonly associated with these days - the militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The force has swept across parts of both Middle Eastern countries, expanding its reach with the use of violence against civilians and government forces alike.
We tech journalist don't have to wade far into the waters of international politics to convey just how unwanted of an association this is for a mobile payments company that merely wants to help you spend money by tapping your phone against things. Read More
As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element. This means that Google Wallet's tap and pay feature, which has historically been disabled on most Android devices save for carrier-independent Nexus/GPE devices, and select Sprint phones, will now work just fine regardless of device or carrier. Read More
Most US carriers eschewed Google Wallet in favor of ISIS, which has only just arrived after years of waiting. Totally reasonable, right? In an apparent effort to smooth things over, ISIS is offering 20% cash back on purchases, but it takes some setup.