Xiaomi has long made a name for itself in the wearable market and is, in fact, the leading wearable brand worldwide according to Canalys. That's in part thanks to its excellent Mi Smart Band fitness trackers, which have always been praised as affordable but capable alternatives to Fitbit and others. But so far, Xiaomi has never blessed most of its international audience with an NFC-equipped version of its fitness tracker. That's changing today, as the company has announced that it's bringing the Mi Smart Band 6 with NFC to Europe.
Although they aren't infallible, Google's Titan 2FA security keys are a great, easy-to-use option for regular users looking to add a physical gadget to their account login methods. Up until today, it's been sold in several different variants, including USB-A and USB-C configurations, along with Bluetooth and NFC options for connecting wirelessly. It's been a few years since this 2FA key launched, making it a perfect time for a quick refresh.
I admit it: I was a mobile payment naysayer for years. I always felt that the conversation around tap to pay was a lot of rigamarole — after all, how hard is it to get out your wallet? But, as credit card terminals slowly evolved around the US, so too did my troglodytian attitude about them. I had my phone out when I was in line to check out regardless most of the time, so why not? And then, the whole last year... happened. Mobile payments went from a passive preference to a very active one for me, and many more businesses here in the States that had lagged behind adoption finally ponied up for contactless.
Smartphones make for an excellent distribution channel for services — another source of monetization for companies. Hence, it wasn't surprising when OnePlus announced its own mobile payment system in China last year. It seems like the company is now ready to expand its offering and introduce it to other markets, including India.
Google has been working on a new beta version of Pay since November, but the old app has been available on the Play Store for users who aren't ready to transition. At least it was until today: anyone searching the Play Store now will be greeted with only the new app, which is out of testing. The old version is still functional, but should start to disappear as users update.
Android's new Nearby Sharing feature replaced the old Android Beam last year, and it makes swapping files or other content between Android devices much easier. But if you preferred the tap-based mechanics of the old system, we've got a small surprise for you. Turns out, you can use NFC to bump content between phones with Nearby Sharing just like you could with Android Beam.
This story was originally published and last updated .
NFC payments first came to Android way, way back in 2011 with a little disaster called the Nexus S 4G. This WiMAX 4G phone was the only device that did NFC payments at the time because carriers had their fingers in everything. Thankfully, things aren't as restrictive anymore. You can make contactless payments with any Android phone containing an NFC chip, but you might have more than one option. If you've got a Samsung phone, you can choose between Samsung's own payment platform or Google Pay. While both do offer the same basic tap-to-pay NFC functionality, there are some differences in their ease of use and in the apps themselves.
If you're at all serious about online security, you're sure to have at least a passing familiarity with two-factor authentication, or 2FA. Single-use codes sent in text messages or emails are probably the most common type of 2FA, but there are more secure methods. The YubiKey 5C NFC facilitates several of those methods in a small, affordable package: at 55 bucks, it's a pretty fantastic little gadget. Honestly, everybody should have one of these things.
Google launched the stable version of Chrome 88 last week, and that means the beta is up for a new release. And indeed, Google has just promoted Chrome 89 to the beta channel. You can download it from the Play Store or over on APK Mirror right now.
The star of yesterday’s Samsung event was definitely the new Galaxy S21 line, but there were so many more smaller bits of news joining it. One such feature coming to the S21 and other Galaxy phones is Digital Key, which is basically Samsung’s answer to Apple's Car Keys, but with support for a wider range of devices, cars, and even houses.