Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Perplexing Choice

Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch:

Google’s Sundar Pichai essentially used today’s Mobile World Congress keynote to let the cat out of the bag for a whole host of interesting Google projects, including Android Pay, a new mobile payments framework that will look to succeed where Google Wallet failed. This time, they’ll be mostly leaving the apps themselves to developers, and Android Pay is intended primarily as a developer tool made available via API, rather than a centralized app like Apple Pay, for instance.


Like Apple Pay, Google’s Android Pay will use NFC for transmission, and will also support biometric authentication via hardware like the Samsung Galaxy S6’s fingerprint scanner. And while Samsung is clearly hoping to offer its own hardware-specific solution, Google’s offering is looking to convince businesses to adopt it by giving them a lot of freedom in how it’s presented and integrated into their brand. Pichai told the MWC crowd today that it’s not meant to compete with Samsung’s offering, however, and is intended primarily to offer up more consumer choice.

To be perfectly clear, then: it’s totally possible for someone with an Android device to have both Samsung Pay and Android Pay, and the slew of specific apps that will come with making it an API instead of its own product. And this confusion is ostensibly good for users?

Ah, who am I kidding? The user experience of Samsung Pay is so atrocious somewhat clunky compared to Apple Pay that I don’t anticipate it being a huge selling feature. Similarly, if Google Wallet wasn’t so hot, what’s going to make Android Pay much different?