Slowly but surely we are getting to a place in time where our lives are becoming fully virtual with out phones being at the forefront of that endeavor.
What is Google Wallet?
Much like Apple’s version of this — the Apple Wallet app — Google is trying to offer a similar type of convenience, making it possible to virtually add anything you carry daily in your pockets or physical wallet. That includes your tickets to events and for travel, your ID cards and VISAs, gift/loyalty cards, vaccination records, even virtual keys for your car, and debit/credit cards as well.In terms of how it looks, Google’s new Wallet app is completely integrated with Android 12’s Material You design language, which adds dynamic color theming to your phone’s interface. While you are using Wallet you are greeted by a carousel with all of your payment cards at the top of your screen and all passes and tickets at its bottom.
You also have an “Add to Wallet” button at the bottom right corner of your display while in the Wallet app. Additionally, that is also where you will find the new lockscreen shortcut button to the Wallet app on your Pixel phone — it is displayed with the same icon as the app itself.
It’s worth noting that Google’s new Wallet application won’t be completely replacing every Google Pay (GPay) functionality, though. GPay will still be the way for transactions to go through (much like Apple Wallet and Apple Pay), which means you will still see it when you are paying online or in physical stores.
Google Wallet on WearOS
The Google Wallet update is also being rolled out to WearOS smartwatches, albeit not being too feature packed at the moment. For now you can mainly use Wallet to make tap-to-pay payments with your wearable.
But that doesn’t mean that the big G is not going to expand on Wallet for WearOS. In fact, it says that “We will add more functionality and features to Google Wallet starting later this year, and expand Google Wallet support to more countries.”
Most likely the functionality and features Google is implying with this statement are many of the ones that are available on the Android version of the app like tickets for public transport, events, gym cards, etc. Later down the line we might also see support for IDs, driver’s licenses, virtual car keys, and more. Apple has already made this possible with its own virtual wallet app.
You might get this bug with Wallet for WearOS
It seems, however, that the WearOS version of the app is causing an issue with some of the smartwatches once the update is installed, disabling the ability to double-click a hardware button (if you have one) to activate GPay.There are reports from owners of the Fossil Gen 5 (Google owns Fossil) and the TicWatch Pro 3. The trouble is that it is not actually possible for users to remap the button to make it once again functional. At the very least, however, there are other ways of activating GPay like linking it to a different button or by setting up a Google Wallet watchface.
Google has not yet come out with any statement regarding the WearOS Wallet app issue, so for now we can only hope that it gets fixed in the next few weeks.