For the people without a device running at least Android 4.4 KitKat, here is a little bit of information regarding Google Wallet. On April 14, people without KitKat running can no longer use Google Wallet’s tap and pay feature. There are also three devices that Google names as KitKat devices that will not be able to use tap and pay regardless: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC Evo 4G LTE, and Nexus 7 (2012).
With KitKat, Google introduced host card emulation (HCE) as a means to get around needing access to a secure element, which would allow Google Wallet and other potential mobile payment options to work on devices running Android 4.4, regardless of what US carriers wanted. So far, Google Wallet has been the only app to take advantage of this, but today both Visa and MasterCard have announced support for NFC payments with Google’s newly introduced methods.
Droid Zap, Motorola’s sharing application, received a new update which replaces the user interface with a Google-styled one, much like the card-layout on popular apps such as Google+ and YouTube.
Though the update doesn’t bring any new functionality, it certainly looks a lot better and will probably be a lot easier to use. A familiar sidebar is also included which features settings within the app. The two-finger swipe up gesture is still used to share content.
While only owners of the most recent DROID line (Ultra, Mini, Maxx) can send files using the app, anyone using an Android device can receive files with Droid Zap.
Check out the app for yourself by hitting the link to it in the Play Store after the break.
Sony’s SmartWatch wasn’t all that revolutionary, but it certainly was a huge step in the right direction. We’re a while away from getting the perfect smartwatch, but it looks like we won’t have to wait all that long before taking another step forward.
FCC documents show that Sony is currently testing a “BT Wrist Notifier,” known as SWR10. There aren’t any details besides the fact that the device will use both NFC and Bluetooth.
It won’t be long before an announcement— CES, anyone?
If you’re more interested in a physical card to shop with rather than NFC payments, Google has created the Wallet Card. With this physical card, you gain access to ATMs, banks, and wherever else MasterCard Debit is accepted. The card will use funds from your Wallet Balance to make payments, much like a regular debit card. Just make sure your Wallet account has the proper amount of funds. There’s no annual or monthly fees, so you can use the card freely.
The Google Wallet app will be updated later this week to allow users to order their Wallet Card. Or if you’re in a hurry, login to your Wallet account from a computer. For now, Google Wallet Card is only available in the United States.
Source: Google Commerce
HTC has certainly been unpredictable for basically the past year, with troubling sales figures, angry executives who ditched the manufacturer, rumors of a sale of the company, and more— now we’re seeing some really odd phone accessories.
Today, the HTC Mini+ showed up on HTC’s website, which is essentially a phone accessory that provides added functionality to your device— a “sidekick,” if you will. The Mini+, which comes with built-in NFC capabilities, a laser pointer, and an IR blaster, serves as a Bluetooth handset/remote control for your smartphone meant for taking calls and showing instant notifications for things such as emails, texts, events, etc.
The product is certainly aimed at a small niche market and is only compatible with select HTC devices including the One Mini, Butterfly S, Desire 200, Desire 500, and will eventually work with the international HTC One. Who knows, something like this may eventually catch on, especially with phones becoming bigger and bigger, and with multitasking becoming even more prominent than ever before. We’ll just have to wait and see…
Pricing and release date is still unknown for the HTC Mini+ in the US, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we find out.
Last night, a new accessory for the Moto X called Motorola Skip showed up and vanished just as quickly. We already had an idea that it was designed to clip to your pants to unlock your Moto X easier, at least for those that use a security PIN or pattern lock. This is the case, but Motorola just formally introduced it and gave us a little more information.
If you remember, back in May at D11, Regina Dugan showed off some futuristic ways people will be able to use to authenticate their devices. The Motorola Skip isn’t that futuristic, but it is an example of some of the early progress that Motorola is making. Even though it is something that every smartphone/tablet owner should do, often times people don’t set a security lock screen since it’s such a pain to unlock the device just to read a quick email. Motorola Skip was designed to allow Moto X owners to implement this security, but still be able to unlock their device with ease.
Earlier today a new accessory for the Motorola Moto X surfaced on the Motorola website with a companion app in the Google Play Store, but has now disappeared. The Skip for Moto X is a wearable accessory that you can use to unlock a Moto X phone with a single tap. For users who tire of entering a PIN or pattern to unlock their phone, this could make things easier for them while retaining some security if the wrong hands get hold of the device.
The device was briefly listed at $19.99 which may just been an introductory price. A support page for the device indicates it uses NFC to perform the unlocking function. The device itself appears to be a small clip-on device that could slide on a belt or maybe a purse strap.
It is not clear why the device and app have been pulled from the Motorola web site and Google Play Store, respectively.
Remember that teasing smartwatch announcement Sony made the other day? We’ve got a few more details about the new device that should keep you interested.
According to Cnet, the smartwatch will come with a few enhanced features over the current $100 model, including a bigger screen and a slightly water resistant design. Sony is pushing their water resistant designs on a majority of their flagship devices, so this shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone. The smartwatch will also run Android and use a capacitive touchscreen, and will have a three icon layout under the screen for navigation. The biggest new feature, though, is the inclusion of NFC. An NFC enabled smartwatch would be able to pair with a smartphone very easily, so that’s a handy feature worth looking forward to.
The device announcement should be at Mobile Asia Expo, so we should know all the specifics and pricing in just a few days. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Sony has taken NFC technology to a whole new level in their new commercial— now you don’t even have to say a word (or send a text) to ask a girl out! What is the world coming to?
All kidding aside, the tech company has put together a pretty cute ad displaying two teens with a crush on one another. They share love songs to each other’s Sony headphones through their Sony smartphones, to share their mutual feelings for one another. It’s a bit far-out, but it does show a pretty cool use of the technology in a unique way.
Check out the video after the break.