One of the most highly anticipated user-facing features in Android 4.4 KitKat is NFC Host Card Emulation. What makes this important is that up until very recently, only devices with NFC Secure Element hardware could access the tap-to-pay functionality in Google Wallet. Host Card Emulation lifts this requirement by emulating the ISO/IEC 7816-based smart cards that use the contactless ISO/IEC 14443-4 (ISO-DEP) protocol for transmission. This allows any device running Android 4.4 KitKat (with a US SIM card) to use Google Wallet’s tap-to-pay feature.
Now, we’re seeing the first fruits of KitKat’s software additions. Previously seen only on the Nexus 5, the new Google Wallet allows any KitKat user with NFC hardware (and a US SIM card) to use tap-to-pay functionality, regardless of whether or not the device has an NFC Secure Element.
Head to the Play Store listing to get in on the latest update. The update is rolling out gradually, but those who are overeager can get in on the action by visiting the via link below.