Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Quick Look At Barclaycard's PayBand For Wireless Festival 2012

Barclaycard have always been at the front of NFC payment innovation within the UK; their latest (temporary - applications close tomorrow, June 20th) addition to their NFC product range, the PayBand, is now being delivered to customers. This NFC-enabled wristband will allow those attending the Wireless Festival to pay for goods with just a tap of the wrist, and saves you from having to carry easily-lost cash or a wallet. If you enable the auto top-up feature during set up, you'll also receive a free £5 bonus. I received mine today, so here are a few observations:

Thursday, 12 April 2012

How to: Use Non-Sony Generic NFC Tags With SmartTags Application

 Sony have recently brought NFC tags into mainstream use thanks to the launch of the Xperia S and the SmartTags application that comes with it. The SmartTags application is designed to only work with Sony's branded NFC tags, which are quite expensive for what they are - £20 for 4. However, a recent discovery has meant that, with a tiny amount of tinkering, cheap generic tags can be made fully compatible with the application.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

How To: Add Funds To Google Wallet Outside Of The USA

As I mentioned in my previous post, Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus is bloody awesome. But what's the point of having Google Wallet if you're stuck with a measly $10? That will get you no more than two small meals at McDonald's. Those of us who have installed Google Wallet (through somewhat questionable means) outside of the United States of America have had no way to top up the Google Prepaid card, since a credit card registered to a US address is needed for the process to go through. Well, that's how Google wanted it anyway. Read on to find out how I topped up my Google Wallet Prepaid card in the UK.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I used Google Wallet on my Galaxy Nexus today

Google Wallet is an amazing little application. Many people think that NFC payment solutions aren't yet common enough in the UK to warrant the feature, but I'm sure you'll be surprised when you find out just how many shops accept contactless payment. McDonald's, Starbucks and Greggs are just three of the big names that accept contactless payment. But it's not just the big brands that are moving forward - my local corner shop also supports contactless payment. If the PayPass logo is present, then you can use your phone to pay.

After installing Google Wallet on my Galaxy Nexus last night, I was eager to test it out. So, for lunch today I headed down to Greggs and looked around for something tasty. I picked up a lemon muffin and took it to the counter, only to be informed by the nice lady behind it that contactless payment wasn't allowed for purchases under £3. I'm not sure if that's corporate policy for Greggs, but whatever. Not wanting to blow half of my $10 credit in Greggs, I decided to go into McDonald's instead. Ordered a Mayo Chicken and Hamburger, opened Google Wallet, entered my PIN and tapped the Galaxy Nexus against the contactless payment area - done. Needless to say, the woman at the till was shocked to see that I had just paid for my food with my phone. That was a pretty good feeling.

You can install Google Wallet on your Galaxy Nexus by following the instructions here. I obviously take no responsibility for anything that you do to your phone. Google is currently giving out a free $10 credit to everyone who signs up to Google Wallet before the end of December. My order at McDonald's came in at £1.88, which was converted to $2.95.

And that's the issue. Google Wallet is only officially available in the US at the moment. There are plans to introduce it in the UK during "early 2012", but of course that can mean anything. As Google Wallet isn't meant to be used by residents of the UK, there seems to be no way to add credit to my account. I can only spend the free £6 that Google provided, at least for now. That sucks. I'm sure Google has a good reason for geographically limiting Google Wallet's use... I'd just like to know what it is. As my friends at Grow would say: "shut up and take my money".

I certainly hope Google will open up this feature soon. Is there anything stopping PayPal from writing a similar application to Google Wallet? I genuinely have no clue. Right now, I just want to continue paying for lunch with my phone, and if a competitor beats Google to it, I'll be damned sure to jump ship.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Nokia Now Training Staff For Windows Phone 7 Launch

Since it was announced that Nokia would be switching to Windows Phone as its primary operating system, everybody has wanted to know when the first device would be available. "Before the end of the year" is the official timeframe that's always brought up, with some suggestions of Q3 being a possibility. Today, along with the news that Nokia has apparently ordered two million Windows Phone devices, comes a tweet from khotabychua showing what looks to be the first page of an official Nokia training document.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Nokia N9 Countdown Removed

Just two days ago, Nokia Sweden placed a 50-day countdown on their N9 Swipe website, suggesting a September 23rd release. Today, that countdown has been removed. As with all things, this can be interpreted in many ways. The pessimist in me would say that this is a sign of delays for the N9, which does sound plausible since... this is Nokia. Perhaps an optimist would say that Nokia has brought the release date forward and no longer saw a need for the countdown.

Another possibility is that this is only a temporary removal. The Javascript code for the countdown is still present in the website's source - maybe Nokia's just doing some maintenance? The drop-down menu showing the list of networks that will carry the N9 has moved to a lower position, could the countdown soon follow?

New Nokia N9 Video And Photo Samples

The N9 boasts a number of 'firsts' in Nokia's camera department - it's the first production Nokia phone with continuous autofocus during video recording, as well as the first Nokia phone to use a sensor that allows for both 4:3 and 16:9 photography without compromise. So then, it's always a good thing to see more samples from the device. Tony Rinnemaa, who is currently in posession of a N9, has uploaded a few pictures and a video to Flickr. Let's take a look.