The newly-announced Android Pay is pretty cool – it allows you to pay at retail stores and inside mobile apps without having to take out your wallet or punch a bunch of card details into your glass-screened phone. But the logical conclusion to reducing the friction of paying for things is not tapping my phone against an NFC reader, but rather just not having to take out my phone at all! Well, without the same fanfare that was given to Android Pay, Google said they’ll have a solution for just that.
Google is planning to overhaul its mobile payment system in May during its I/O developer conference, a new report suggests. Google recently purchased “some” technology from SoftCard, with several major US carriers planning to pre-load Wallet on all new phones in the coming months.
The revitalized payment software is being referred to as “Android Pay” by Ars Technica, and like Apple’s own similarly named product, it will support payments in physical retailers as well as in-app sales. The entire offering will take advantage of Host Card Emulation, which essentially presents the phone to an NFC terminal as a clone of the card.
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 …
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
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 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.
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
You can now download at the Play Store with a lot of new features this year:
– 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
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.”
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.
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:
Google Wallet (@googlewallet) October 22, 2012