Google Wallet Available to Non-NFC Android Phones
Google today is rolling out a significant update to its Google Wallet application for Android devices, reports AllThingsD. First and foremost, the new application will be compatible with more handsets. It can be downloaded by any device running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and up, and doesn't require NFC. Further, it will be available to devices running on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon's networks, where it was previously blocked. In addition to the expanded availability, the revised application offers a number of new features. For example, Google Wallet will let U.S. residents send money directly to others via their email address. Money sent from banking accounts or the users' Google Wallet balance will be free, but money sent from credit/debit cards will incur a small fee. The new Google Wallet also adds the ability to read and add loyalty cards based on the barcode or card number. Once entered into Google Wallet on the phone, the digital loyalty card can be displayed on the screen and scanned at check-out in stores. The app also works better with Google Search and Google Offers when it comes to finding deals. There are some limits to the app's capabilities, though. According to AllThingsD, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon subscribers will not be able to use Google Wallet's NFC functions to make in-store purchases. (AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon back a competing NFC-based mobile payment system called Isis, which is launching later this year.) The updated version of Google Wallet is expected to be available from the Google Play Store later today.