Apple Pay pays off for Google Wallet too: users double and payments grow by 50%

google-wallet

Android users might have raised an eyebrow at the media attention given to Apple Pay, given that the Google Wallet service has been available since 2011. However, it now appears that Google may be benefiting from Apple raising the profile of mobile payment: sources cited by arsTechnica report that Google Wallet service has seen the number of users almost double, with a 50% increase in weekly transactions during the past couple of months …

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McDonald’s builds upon Apple Pay and Google Wallet with Softcard support in the United States

Softcard McDonalds

McDonald’s announced on Tuesday that it now accepts Softcard for NFC-based mobile payments on Android at its restaurants across the United States. The move comes just over a week after McDonald’s became one of the more high-profile launch partners for Apple Pay, which enables iPhone users to tap and pay with their smartphone. Read more

Motorola shows off digital tattoo to unlock your phone

Let’s face it, when companies are interviewed at tech conferences, they talk about all kinds of crazy stuff that will never be launched – like the idea of wearing a digital tattoo to unlock your phone. Except this time, more than a year after first discussing the idea at the D11 conference last May, Motorola has actually done it and is showing it off in a new video … Read more

The QWERTY smartphone returns with leaked image of T-Mobile bound LG F3Q

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The super smartphone leaking machine known as @evleaks is back yet again with a first look at another upcoming smartphone headed for T-Mobile USA. What makes this smartphone the current buzz around town is its place as the first QWERTY device to catch our eye in some time. While the device itself looks to be low-end, it catches our attention as some of us believed the life and times of the QWERTY smartphone era were in our rear-view mirror.

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More details on Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch surface ahead of expected Sept.4 unveiling

Samsung Gear Patent Filing

Samsung Gear Patent Filing

Following a report from SamMobile last week sharing some specific specs coming in Samsung’s much rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch, today GigaOm reports on a few more details from developers with prototypes of the device. On top of confirming a Sept.4 unveiling at Samsung’s events scheduled to take place in Berlin and New York, the report claims Galaxy Gear will include a 2.5 inch OLED display, dual core processor, an accelerometer, speakers, and built-in NFC:

It is said to be around 2.5 inches diagonally (and 3 inches diagonally including the case), is powered by a dual core processor and should have pretty decent battery life. In addition, we are told the watch has a camera that is integrated into the strap and even has tiny speakers in the clasp of the watch, plus built-in NFC to allow for bump-to-sync and authenticate. The watch uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to connect with smartphones for connectivity… In addition, the watch has a built-in accelerometer that makes it possible to switch it on when it is moved up towards the eye. It could be a great way to wake the watch and also the apps and manage battery power. The watch screen will support the usual touch, swipe and select type gestures but will likely not have text-input.

The report adds that watch will work with a Samsung watch manager app on a smartphone and utilize apps from the Samsung App Store, not Google Play. GigaOm also claims that Galaxy Gear will support Facebook and Twitter integration at launch. The Samsung App Store integration could mean the device will only be available for Samsung device users: Read more

Google I/O 2013 App is live, lots of streams planned

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 12.58.25 PM

You can now download at the Play Store with a lot of new features this year:

- NEW! Scan attendee badges via NFC
– NEW! Schedule changes are immediately synchronized between devices
– NEW! Lock screen widget for viewing your agenda on the go
– NEW! Vector-based maps with session info
– NEW! Dedicated HDMI video output for livestreams
– NEW! Automatic WiFi setup for attendees
– NEW! Off-site attendee mode for livestream-only viewers
– Use Google+ for login
– Support for viewing Office Hours sessions
– Improved support for devices with RTL locales
Additionally Google reminds us that if we can’t make it to Moscone, they’re streaming everything so stop complaining about not getting a ticket. Read more

Samsung and Visa announce deal to preload Visa payWave on future Samsung devices

Olimpicshop

Samsung and Visa today announced a deal that would see future Samsung devices preloaded with the Visa payWave applet, allowing consumers to “wave and pay” through Visa’s contactless payment terminals. The Visa payWave service will of course only come preloaded on select Samsung devices, but rumor has it that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4 will be the first to receive the functionality. While Samsung and Visa were showing off the technology with existing NFC-enabled devices at MWC this week, CNET and others have apparently confirmed through sources that the S4 will indeed be the first device to get the applet preloaded.

  • Global Strategic Alliance
    Visa and Samsung have agreed to work together to enable the next generation of Samsung mobile devices with Visa payment technology, and to partner with financial institutions to accelerate the availability of mobile payment solutions globally.
  • Samsung to Connect to Visa’s Mobile Provisioning Service
    In order to enable financial institutions to launch large scale mobile (NFC) payment programs, Samsung will offer banks the ability to load payment account information over-the-air to a secure chip embedded inSamsung devices, using Visa’s Mobile Provisioning Service3 which is linked to Samsung KMS (Key Management System) – a service that creates secure data storage domains for issuers.
  • Samsung Awarded Global Visa payWave License
    The Visa payWave mobile applet will be preloaded onto selected next-generation Samsung mobile devices featuring NFC technology and an embedded secure element. Off the shelf, these devices are ready to be personalized with Visa payment account information – a simple step that consumers will be able to initiate using a mobile payment application provided by their financial institution.

Visa also noted that the partnership, which isn’t exclusive with Samsung, will allow financial institutions with mobile payment programs to “use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled Samsung devices.”
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ICS-powered Sony Xperia TL to land on AT&T Nov. 2 for $99

9to5Google played with Sony’s official James Bond smartphone, the Xperia TL, last month at a media event in New York City, but now the rest of the world can experience the 007 action starting Nov. 2.

Sony just announced the ICS-powered smartphone would land on AT&T for $99.99 with a two-year contract. For a reminder as to what this 4.55-inch LTE and NFC-capable device boasts, check out our brief hands-on. More information regarding the phone’s Bond connection and upcoming AT&T debut is in the press release below.

Oh, and Sony previously promised a Jelly Bean upgrade would come “soon.” Yeah, not too specific.

YouTube video after the break, too.

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Google confirms ‘next version’ of Google Wallet coming soon

BusinessInsider pointed us to an interesting update to the Google Wallet website today: Google is now advertising “the next version” of its mobile wallet app and providing a link a to request an invite. The website has a link to “Request an invite” for when the new version is ready, but even more interesting is what happens after users do so. After clicking the link, Google asks users to select the type of mobile device they use. The three options include: Android, iOS, and Other.

There is no details regarding what might be included in the next generation of the Wallet service, but many are speculating Google might have plans to extend some portion of the Google Wallet app to iOS and possibly other devices. An iPhone version of Google Wallet would of course not include the NFC capabilities that have limited the service to select Android devices, but perhaps it could provide some type of integration with Apple’s Passbook feature on iOS? We have requested an invite to the new version of Wallet, and we will keep you updated when we learn more.

Google also announced today that Google Wallet is now available to Galaxy S III users on MetroPCS:

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Google Wallet gets Web App, updated with all major credit cards and remote wipe

Google Wallet is now cloud-based, supports any type of credit or debit card, and it is safer than ever before thanks to secure storage and remote disabling.

U.S. carriers are extremely stingy about letting Google put the Wallet app on its own operating system. While Sprint and its Virgin subsidiary have Google Wallet enabled on most of their new Android phones, Verizon has outright banned it—even on the Galaxy Nexus. AT&T and T-Mobile, which, with Verizon, are part of the competing ISIS Wallet standard. Both refuse to carry phones that use Google Wallet, but you can buy an unsubsidized GSM Galaxy Nexus that works on both networks just fine.

Google seems to have found another way around the ban, according to the the official Google Commerce blog:

“Today we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.”

Google Wallet is simple: Card information is entered on the app, or on its new online wallet and Google Play, and manageable transaction records for in-store and online purchases appear on the phone (and now the Web!) immediately after payment use.

Google also instantly charges the selected credit or debit card. Well, when a user pays, the virtual card is transmitted to the merchant, but then the back-end charges the selected card. Note: It does not directly charge the card, because it is a proxy card.

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Google officially announces the Nexus 7 tablet, ships in mid-July for $199

Although the official introduction video for Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet leaked before the announcement, the company just unveiled the 7-inch device on-stage at its Google I/O keynote. While announcing the device’s specs (listed below), the company gave a number of demos for the Nexus 7’s UI, including a content recommendation page, Gmail, YouTube, Chrome (first device to ship with Chrome as default, stock browser), and a full-featured Google Maps with offline mode. Google also gave a demo of the 12-core GPU in action with some impressive 3D games, as pictured above.

Pre-orders start on Google Play today for $199 (8GB) or $249 (16GB), with the device shipping to the United States and Canada in mid-July alongside Jelly Bean.

  • -1,080-by-800HD display
  • -Tegra 3, Quad-core CPU
  • -12-core GPU
  • -4325 mAh battery- 9 hours video playback, 300 hours standby
  • -Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer
  • -1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • -340 grams
The 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference starts today at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, Calif., with events continuing until June 29 at 4:30 p.m. PST.

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