After stagnating for a few years, Google Wallet gains a new lease on life with support on all U.S. carriers and on all Android phones running Android 2.3 or later. The software update is rolling out this week, Google said in a blog post on Tuesday. With the new app, you can send money through Gmail, store loyalty card information, get Google Offers to save money and see all transactions in a centralized, digital wallet.
Google says the 29 devices that currently support NFC payments for in-store purchases can still use the feature. Unfortunately, the same carrier restrictions that previously applied to NFC support are still in place. That means the Moto X, for example, can be used for NFC payments if the phone is on Sprint or US Cellular, but not for the same handset on T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon, which have their own joint payment system called Isis.
That’s a shame because I had grown rather accustomed to using Google Wallet and NFC to pay for items. Here’s a look at my first NFC transaction on the Galaxy Nexus from nearly two years ago.