Google announced earlier this week that its Google Wallet app will soon receive an update that would enable users to track their packages from directly within the app. Today El Goog's got some more news regarding Wallet, but this time it's not exactly good.
Google has started sending emails to Google Wallet users with a pre-Android 4.4 device to alert them to the news that the app's Tap & Pay feature will only support KitKat devices starting on April 14. The company explains that Android 4.4 uses a new technology that offers a better experience than the old method of tapping to pay. The good news is that the app won't be completely useless to devices running Android 4.3 or earlier, as Google says that Wallet features like storing loyalty cards, sending money, viewing orders and using the Google Wallet Card will still function as normal after April 14.
Obviously it's kind of a bummer to see users lose access to one of a service's biggest features. After all, tapping to pay for stuff is one of the things that makes using Google Wallet seem so cool and futuristic.
It's likely that Google would like to rely on KitKat's Host Card Emulation feature for Tap & Pay, which allows users to make secure NFC payments without the need for a Secure Element in the device. That makes sense since HCE enables more devices to use the Tap & Pay feature, but that doesn't mean that this news is still disappointing for those folks on Android 4.3 or lower, which is the majority of the Android ecosystem. The one good thing here is that at least Google is alerting pre-KitKat users to the change a month early, giving them plenty of time to get in plenty of tap payments before the feature stops working.