It looks like the Google’s mobile wallet app just received an update on Google’s Play Store. The Google Wallet app is now available for download and though Google did not detail all the features of its NFC-enabled payment app, it does hint at what Google may have in store for a Google I/O announcement this year.
According to Phandroid, the two changes listed for the app’s updated version include one that helps to simplify the process to refill your Google prepaid MasterCard as well as support for additional form factors.
Currently, in the U.S., Google Wallet is available on phones from Sprint and its pre-paid brands, including popular flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the HTC EVO 4G LTE, and the LG Viper 4G LTE. As Google Wallet already runs on Android phones with varying screen sizes and resolutions currently, expansion to support additional form factors may signify that Google intends on bringing NFC and Google Wallet to the tablet form factor in the future, allowing non-phone users to access the NFC mobile wallet.
As the Asus-made Nexus 7 Tablet has been rumored for an announcement at this year’s Google I/O developer conference, Google Wallet may have been updated ahead of the scheduled conference to bring compatibility to the tablet.
Expansion of Google Wallet to support non-phones would be a smart move by Google to help spur adoption of the platform in light of competition from PayPal’s Here service, Square, and others who are trying to enter the mobile payment space. As Google Wallet currently only supports Sprint’s phones in the U.S., this would allow Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA phone owners to get in on the action with a WiFi tablet without having to switch to Sprint if customers do not want to. At this point, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T have formed a consortium in the form of ISIS to offer a rival mobile wallet platform to rival Google Wallet so phones on these three large national carriers may not support Google Wallet now or in the future.
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