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.
Google Intros 'Zero-Touch' Android Enterprise Deployments
Google today made it easier for businesses to configure and deploy Android handsets to employees with a new tool called zero-touch enrollment. Google says zero-touch lets companies configure purchased devices and ship them directly to employees completely preconfigured with corporate policies and controls all in place.
Review: Asus Zenfone AR for Verizon Wireless
The Zenfone AR from Asus is the first to support Google's Project Tango augmented reality and Daydream virtual reality platforms. This ultra-real Android smartphone lets you visualize what furniture might look like in your living room, or escape your living room altogether in favor of worlds unknown.
Apple Watch Series 3 Supports Carriers' One Number Calling and Messaging
Apple this week announced the Apple Watch Series 3 with an optional cellular radio. The LTE radio makes it possible for the smartwatch to connect to cellular networks on its own, without a nearby iPhone.
U.S. Carriers Create Mobile Authentication Taskforce
Mobile operators in the U.S. today said they will work together to help customers more easily manage app and account authentication while also protecting consumers' privacy and identity.