Not too long ago, we saw a wave of substantial application updates for some of Google’s first party Android apps such as Maps, Search, Keep, YouTube, Hangouts, and more. Since then, we’ve also seen major updates to Chrome for Android, as well as some of Mountain View’s lesser known (but still awesome) offerings like MyTracks.
One app that hasn’t received much attention recently, however, was Google Wallet. This can partially be attributed to the fact that not many devices support Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay functionality. In fact, according to Google, only 29 devices to date have featured the NFC secure element required to be compatible with Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay functionality. And prior to today’s update, this meant that the app was essentially without purpose on unsupported devices without the requisite hardware.
Today, Google added functionality to the Wallet app, allowing users to easily send money to friends in a manner similar to what was recently added to Gmail. In many ways, this can be viewed as Google’s ever strengthening assault on PayPal. Google also added loyalty card functionality, bringing it inline with Apple’s Passbook functionality. Of course, the core tap-to-pay functionality is still present for supported devices. However, this new app opens up various features to almost any device running Gingerbread or later, regardless of its NFC hardware status.
Are you eager to get your hands on the new Wallet app? Head over to the Google Play Store listing to download a copy to your device. Read the announcement post on the Google Commerce Blog to learn more._________