Surprise, Google has A new application. Well, maybe you’re not entirely surprised. Google has always had an on-and-off relationship with the home apps that Android phones use to access its services. Specifically, Google often likes to make big changes to it, rebrand it, or kill it all of a sudden without explanation. The latest Google app update is actually a revival: Google Wallet is back to store all your cards and personal information.
“But wait,” you ask, “Isn’t Google Pay a thing? Isn’t it already doing that?” Well, yes, it is. In fact, when the Google Pay app was launched, it replaced the old versions of Google Wallet and Android Pay on mobile phones. But at an IO event in May, Google announced that it’s bringing back Wallet with some new features not included with Pay.
Here are the differences. Google Pay can store credit card information and link to digital payment services such as PayPal. He can also carry boarding passes, proof of vaccination cards and some transit cards. The new Google Wallet can also do all of these things, in addition to storing your driver’s license and unlocking your car if you drive a car that supports digital keys.
The Google Pay app on your phone will soon be replaced by the Google Wallet app, and all the payment information and other things you’ve stored in Google Pay will appear in your Google Wallet. Google will also scan your email for gift cards or loyalty programs of any company you’ve signed up for. (For example, when I first logged into Google Wallet, it immediately pulled out the Southwest Airlines express rewards number, something I completely forgot.) Just know that if you delete emails with that information, that data will be gone. from Wallet.
For most countries, these new features will be added as updates to the existing Google Pay app. But if you are in the US or Singapore, Wallet and Pay will be two separate apps from now on. confusing? yes. Essentially Google? So much so. It’s especially strange considering that Google only integrated two video chat apps last month.
If you are confused, just get and use the Google Wallet app. It has the latest features, is very similar to Google Pay, and can be used for purchases anywhere Google Pay is accepted.
As much of a headache as it can be to keep track of ever-changing apps, switching from an analog wallet to a digital wallet (or a similar Apple wallet if you use an iPhone) is a good idea. These digital wallets keep everything organized, encrypt your purchases, and offer more security than an easy-to-misplace piece of leather stuffed with a stack of credit cards.
Here’s more gear news from around the web.
Galaxy Unpacked is close (again)
Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Unpacked event will be held on Wednesday, August 10, which is the biannual party that Samsung uses to reveal its updated phones and devices. (Yes, there was only an Unpacked event in February.) Expect to see new Galaxy phones and tablets. In the invite photos, Samsung is teasing at least one new foldable thing.
Samsung says that of all the foldable devices it sold, 70 percent were Galaxy Flip models. It’s the smallest and most compact device of the bunch, and since it’s done so well, we’ll likely see more Samsung in similar form factors. Stay tuned for the day of the event for WIRED coverage of everything Samsung will announce.
Prime Ari Care
Contrary to its ever-shrinking name, Amazon continues to expand. The Bezos empire that was born this week announced that it has acquired One Medical, a company that provides online and in-person healthcare services to patients in more than a dozen US cities. The nearly $4 billion deal gives Amazon access to the data of nearly 800,000 patients across the United States. However, Amazon may be full of One Medical’s rocky history. The company faced a scandal last year when it was accused of prioritizing giving Covid vaccines to leadership and other top officials over those most at risk.
Many would point to the irony of Amazon’s sudden investment in people’s health, seeing how the company is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors for safety violations in its warehouses.
Unconventional future on Facebook
Facebook may have changed its name to Meta, but that hasn’t stopped controversies from sticking with the company. Recently, Facebook decided to change the way it feeds its activity again, in an effort to keep up with TikTok. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being brought again over a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica 2018 scandal. Amazon is suing the managers of more than 10,000 Facebook groups for allegedly fake reviews. Then there’s everything that happens with Facebook’s vision for metaverses.
This week’s Gadget Lab podcast is joined by Shireen Ghafari of Recode and Alex Heath of The Verge. They talk about the big decisions from Facebook’s early days that led to the company’s turbulent transition to Meta, and what awaits the platform — and everyone who uses it.
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