Isis Wallet announced back in July that it would be rebranding in order to avoid association with the violent Islamic militant group of the same name. Needless to say, associating a company with terrorists can be bad for business. Today, Michael Abbot, CEO announced that the new name for the company: Softcard.
If you own Google’s Glass device, sending money without even pulling out your smartphone may be coming your way via Google Wallet very soon. Through sources that work closely with Google, Google Wallet integration within Glass is in the works and they are already well into the testing phase. The service is already on certain Google employees, and after a few more months of testing, we could see it roll out to the masses No clear timetable has been given on its impending widespread release so stay tuned for further news!
Would this be a feature you would like to have on Glass?
Google gave a presentation at the recent Electronic Transaction Association’s trade show in Las Vegas. While they acknowledged that consumers have been slow to embrace the mobile payment service Google Wallet, they also said that they plan to stick with it.
Ariel Bardin, the chief of Google Wallet gave the presentation, and mentioned that when Google Wallet was launched it relied on NFC technology and only one carrier – Sprint – to push it. This limited the reach that the service had, and after a year it only supported one credit card and bank combination.
Google has announced a new feature for their Google Wallet app, the ability to scan a loyalty card with your device’s camera in order to add it to the wallet. According to Google, once you grab a pic of the card with your smartphone or tablet, the app will auto-populate the appropriate data fields. Currently the app will let you scan the barcode to add that to your wallet, but does not add the rest of the information like the merchant name or type of program. Google also indicated in their posting on their Google+ page that the program will now alert you via a notification if you are close to any merchants you have stored. Google says the update will be rolling out over the next few days and includes support for Android 4.0 or higher.
source: +Google Wallet
Google has really been ratcheting up their Google Wallet app the last few weeks. The release of Android 4.4 saw the ability for Google Wallet to be used for on any device regardless of the carrier, which was a major hurdle for Google to get past on the way to greater adoption. Earlier this week we saw Google release a physical card connected to a user’s Wallet account so they can make payments anywhere a debit card could be used. Google has now released an update to the Android app that adds the ability to add a credit or debit card to the account just by taking a picture with the device’s camera. Google claims the number and expiration date will be captured automatically. Hit the break for download links.
Many people who hear the word “wallet” connected to an app’s name may immediately jump to the conclusion that it can be used to make payments. That makes sense since Google has been playing up their Google Wallet app despite the reluctance of carriers to allow it on smartphones. Samsung announced today their own “Samsung Wallet” app that is in development to address some of the other stuff kept in a wallet besides credit or debit cards. The new app will keep track of tickets, boarding passes, and discount or loyalty cards. Samsung also indicates the app will have built in location awareness so it can let you know whether you have a card or discount available when you are near the retailer that issued the card.
More news this week about a physical card coming from Google to expand the functionality of the Google Wallet app. The latest leak was discovered on Google’s own web site in the help section for Google Wallet. On the page listing eligible devices, Google’s text indicated “Eligible devices for use with Google Wallet card” and then went on to note that any device running Android 2.3.3 or better could install the Google Wallet app to use with the new card. It appears Google has taken steps to scrub the page clean, but not before visitors were able to grab screenshots.
Google Wallet’s acceptance into everyday usage hasn’t been the smoothest, but has been picking up. With some carriers not allowing installs of Google’s NFC-based payment system, not everybody has been able to reap the benefits of living a potentially wallet-free lifestyle. So with such spotty acceptance, is there room for a competitor on this shaky ground? The makers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) behind Isis Mobile Wallet seem to think so. Consumers will finally get to try out the long awaited new service on October 22 in Salt Lake City and Austin.
Isis has a number of similarities with Google Wallet: When users sign up they receive a free $10 Isis cash card credit, along with accepting a wide variety of credit and debit cards. If Isis can negotiate wider acceptance of their application and offer a simple solution to increase the number of NFC payment terminals, their October 22nd might just be a success.
Choice is a wonderful thing, for many of us it’s probably the primary reason we own an Android phone in the first place. Speaking of which, it’s hard to beat that initial feeling when you get a brand new device. You remove it carefully from the box, peel off the plastic screen protector and admire it as it gleams spotlessly in your hands. Keeping your phone in such pristine condition throughout its life isn’t easy; however there are numerous solutions on the market that can help. The question is which solution works best? A quick search on the website of any mainstream tech retailer will bring up hundreds of sleeves, pouches, wallets, skins, cases and films. Would you prefer leather, suede, neoprene, plastic, rubber or even “invisible”? I’ve tried various solutions over the years with mixed results.
I’ve been a mobile phone connoisseur since the mid 90’s when Nokia ruled the roost. My trusty 3330 would be thrown in my pocket alongside my keys, coins and wallet without a care in the world. The one and only time I dropped it, I simply popped into town and bought a new exchangeable cover; job done. It was one of my early ventures into the smartphone world that made me re-evaluate the benefits of phone protectors. Back in 2004 I bought a sim-free iMate Jam (HTC Magician) and paid £500 cold hard cash. The store I purchased it from suggested a leather case for protection, which I decided to go for as I could definitely see the benefits. The case in question was a classic design which anyone who has been using phones or PDA’s for a number of years will definitely be familiar with. A couple of pieces of black leather on the front and back, joined by a few strips of black, elastic material with a leather ‘lid’ that folds over the top and sticks in place by way of some velcro tabs. If my memory serves me right, I think it even had a belt clip on the back (did anyone actually use those?). There was no question that this case would protect the phone. The problem was that the iMate Jam was a hefty old device. It was made of metal, as thick as a yellow pages directory and could probably have been used to anchor a small boat. Putting this phone in such a rugged case made it virtually impossible to pocket. It didn’t take long before I ditched the case and it also didn’t take long for me to regret that decision. On a visit to my parents’ house, the iMate was sitting in my shirt pocket. I bent down to pick something up and out it flew dropping a few feet onto the slate finished kitchen floor. I’d gained a sizable dent on the bottom corner and clearly some kind of loose connection somewhere as the device would perform a master reset every time I pressed the top half of the screen. Lesson learned.
Yesterday we posted a guide on how to get Google Wallet on your new Galaxy Nexus phone. Trying out the method myself, I ran into some strange behavior as we mentioned in that former post. Other’s never got it working at all. The process was in short, not much fun. Well you can put the past behind you because devs after Google Wallet are diligent. Diligent enough to finally bring you a simple APK that you can install, without even needing root! It took mere seconds for me to set up and redeem my free $10 from Google, but as it is currently early morning as I write this, I’ve yet to journey out and blow some poor cashier’s mind. Definitely, something to look forward to tomorrow. Before you get ahead of yourself please pay attention here:
If you previously flashed the .zip file from Friday, you may have to return to a backup, pre-Wallet, or this .apk will not work.
Otherwise, proceed to the download.