In the Android community, factory resets and phone wipes are almost second nature, even if you aren’t a prolific ROM flasher. There are ways to get your information back onto your phone rather quickly after these wipes, but a security feature in Google Wallet leaves you with the potential of the application never working again after even a simple factory reset. (more…)
Isis Mobile Wallet will launch this summer in two test cities: Austin, TX and Salt Lake City, Utah. When that happens, owners of NFC-enabled phones in those cities will have “hundreds” of merchants to choose from that will take advantage of this new mobile payment option. As a service backed by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, Isis is going to be the payment option of the future – today’s released list is evidence of that. (more…)
A few interesting updates await you in the Play Store today if you head on over. First up is an update for arguably the best app of all time, Google Maps. The application will now show you Google Offers based on your location, so if you’re walking around downtown you can find where to go to lunch and save some money. The map view of this is particularly handy. Also tucked into this update is “360 degree panoramas inside restaurants and stores” and indoor walking directions for the US and Japan. Both of which can be pretty interesting once they become more widespread.
Shazam also has an update waiting for you, one that enables NFC if you have it. You can “swap tags and share your favorite music” through Android Beam just by tapping your two phones together (provided you both have NFC). Now you can really be that guy who shares the music with all of his friends.
Play Links: Maps | Shazam
Solid deal in our store today that we wanted to point out. The Seidio 3800mAh extended battery with NFC is available for $57.95. If you bought this from Seidio’s store, it would run you almost $75. It’s a tank of a battery, but if you need a phone that can last longer than a day, this would help get you there. We did a quick hands-on with the battery last week to give readers an idea of the thickness and weight it adds – you can view that here.
Isis – the NFC mobile payment system that was started by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T – received its first banking partners today, along with a product name and some details on how they plan to roll out. The product will officially be called Isis Mobile Wallet and will welcome in Capital One, Chase and Barclaycard as their first card partners. Since they already secured Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, it’s now up to the rest of the banking industry to give their cards the thumbs up.
Not familiar with Isis? Again, this NFC-based mobile payment system was created by Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T with hopes of making NFC and mobile payments a common practice. They fell under scrutiny a couple of months ago when it was discovered that Google Wallet (a direct competitor) was not accessible on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Most pointed fingers directly at their Isis product as the reason why Wallet was not allowed on the phone. Verizon denied that they were blocking it and that it had anything to do with Isis.
So far though, we have not heard any of Isis’ plans to actually produce a product that we can use. According to their press release today, we should see the first markets go live some time in mid-2012. The first two cities to get access are Salt Lake City, UT and Austin, TX with a nationwide rollout happening soon after.
No matter what, this is amazing news for the NFC industry. With these 3 carriers behind it, all of the major credit card companies, and a first batch of banks, mobile payments will soon be in your lives. NFC chips are becoming more common in newer phones and by the end of the year or early 2013, you may be ditching your wallet after all.
After all of the drama that Google Wallet has gone through over the last couple of weeks (security issues and freezing of prepaid cards), we have yet to discuss usage of the app itself. With prepaid cards back for the most part and enough ways to get the app on your device even though Verizon is doing their best to prevent it, we want to know if anyone has actually used it.
Since carriers have asked Google to not include it on certain devices and with only MasterCard currently along for the ride, I’m personally having trouble finding places to use it at. Even at CES in Vegas, I had made it a goal of mine to use Wallet every single time I took a cab ride. Unfortunately, the only cab with PayPass functionality was the very last cab we took to the airport and the transaction failed enough times that we tossed cash out in frustration.
My first time happened to be last week as I stopped through a Peet’s Coffee here in Portland and noticed the PayPass pad. I fumbled through the transaction, expecting it to be more difficult. It wasn’t. I’m now hooked and am looking for ways and places to use it more often. NFC payments are simply put, brilliant.
Have you had the chance to use it?
Since there aren’t enough phones with built-in NFC chips, companies are looking for ways to make them NFC-enabled after the fact. One of those companies in Moneto who has figured out a way to embed a secure NFC element into a microSD card. That card pairs with their Android app which then allows you to make payments through MasterCard PayPass payment systems. It should work in a similar fashion to Google Wallet, however, you don’t need a phone approved for Wallet.
Their currently compatible lineup list only includes Galaxy S phones, so if you own a Moto or HTC device, you will be waiting a bit. They claim to be adding new models all of the time though.
The package for Android is $29.95, but that includes the 1GB microSD card, an NFC signal boosting sticker, a prepaid debit card, and $10 to spend as you please using their Android app. If you are locked into a RAZR or Rezound for 2 years without NFC, this is something you may want to keep an eye on.
More info: Moneto | Market Link
Poor Google Wallet and the beating it has taken over the last week. First it was a “vulnerability” if your phone was rooted which was then followed by a non-rooted issue that allowed someone who stole your phone to access prepaid funds. To be fair to Wallet, none of these are actually issues unless you lose your phone and fail to protect it up front at the lock screen. But since attacking a product that is trying to push boundaries makes great headlines, this is where stand. Google has temporarily disabled prepaid cards in Wallet until they can provide a fix that won’t allow a user to simply “clear data” on the app and then re-access your funds.
Again, Google Wallet is still safe for making payments with credit cards, you just can’t use prepaid cards for the time being.
Via: Google Commerce