A recent study conducted by payment solution provider Mobio Identity Systems suggests that North Americans are eager to see mobile payments become a reality. At the same time, however, security is a top concern for the majority of potential users. Mobio recently surveyed 1,085 people across North America and found that the overwhelming majority — 94% — would use mobile payments if they knew the system was secure. Mobio’s study also found that 73% of respondents said security was their main concern regarding mobile payments, while 12.4% said simplicity and 8.5% said speed. As such, it’s safe to say companies looking to bring mobile payments to the mainstream market must focus a tremendous amount of effort on security. As luck would have it, this study just so happens to come from a firm that specializes in mobile payment security solutions. Will wonders never cease? More →
Leaving your credit card at the bar may soon be a thing of the past — that is, if you live in San Francisco or New York City. Bloomberg is reporting that Google is planning to trial its new Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile-payment system in both cities. The trial, which could begin in as little as four months, would allow users to make purchases using their smartphones at participating retailers. Presumably, Google will run the trial with the NFC-equipped Nexus S, and it is working with VeriFone to outfit merchants with special cash registers. It’s unclear who will be able to participate in the trial, or which merchants are on board. More →
If we know you, and we think we do, you’re not the kind of person that wants to wait two weeks to get Gingerbread (Android 2.3) on their Nexus device. Neither are we. Thankfully, the gang over at XDA-developers have posted two, Android 2.3.3 download links — one for the Nexus S and one for the Nexus One — for those looking to force-feed Google’s latest and greatest code-base onto their device. Hit up the read link to venture on over to the XDA forums for further instructions… and enjoy your dessert. More →
Google made its software development kit (SDK) available for version 2.3.3 of the Android OS earlier this month, and Stanford University’s MobiSocial News uncovered a nifty feature that hasn’t gotten much coverage. The new SDK features an API for “insecure Bluetooth socket connections” on both the client and server sides. Coupled with Gingerbread’s widely publicized NFC capabilities, this will allow developers to enable a tap-to-connect feature that lets NFC-equipped Android phones forgo the Bluetooth pairing process. Similar to the functionality HP showed off with its TouchPad tablet and Pre 3 smartphone at the Think Beyond event last week, devices running Android 2.3.3 or later can be connected to each other with a simple tap that will automatically initiate data transfers. Apple is rumored to be cooking up a unique twist for the NFC functionality coming to its next-generation iPhone, so smart functionality beyond mobile payments such as tap-to-share will certainly help Android’s case in the meantime. More →
Despite the fact that Apple’s white iPhone 4 is creeping ever closer to becoming a reality, some people have long since given up on the gadget. We don’t blame them either, what with a new iPhone set to be unveiled this summer. Those of you with white smartphone lust still have other options to consider, of course, and one of them will apparently soon be the Nexus S. According to enthusiast blog BestBoyZ, the mostly white version of the Nexus S pictured above will soon become available in the blog’s home market of Germany. While the site’s tipster had nothing to say about regions outside Germany, it’s a pretty safe bet that Google doesn’t intend to restrict its white Nexus S to just one country. So, if you’ve been pondering a Nexus S purchase but can’t seem to pull the trigger due to its dark complexion, your prayers will soon be answered — or at least half answered. We can’t say we’re fans of the two-tone black front/white back combo, but you know what they say about opinions… More →
In a new report on Tuesday, Bloomberg Businessweek reaffirms that Google has big plans for NFC. The report cites two people familiar with Google’s plans in claiming that the Internet giant is building a service that will combine mobile payments and advertising. As Google tries to spread its net wider and make money on both sides of the retail equation — take a piece when companies advertise a product, then take another piece when customers purchase the product — a solid mobile payment product is an absolute necessity. Google acquired stealth mobile payment startup Zetawire last year, and the inclusion of NFC capabilities in the Google Nexus S and other upcoming Android devices is very telling. The key is getting retailers on board; smartphone payment systems are gaining traction in some markets but key regions like the U.S. are not yet making significant progress in the area. With Google behind the new push, however, smartphone payment systems have a much better chance of being more widely adopted. More →
With no more than a few weeks left to hold the arbitrary title of “world’s best Android phone,” Google’s Nexus S is sweating. In a last-ditch effort to make waves ahead of the dual-core Android phone onslaught set to hit CES on Thursday, the Nexus S is making headlines one last time. Courtesy of the fine folks over at the xda-developers forum, the Nexus S’ Hummingbird processor has been successfully overclocked to 1.2GHz, up from its factory rating of 1GHz. The already silky smooth(ish) UX on the Nexus S is further elevated by the bump in processing power, of course, and those with a need for mobile speed can finally have their hack-appetite sated. Typical you-might-bust-your-gear-and-void-your-warranty warnings aside, intrepid Nexus S owners should hit the read link below if they have any interest in overclocking their kit. More →
We just got a report that Best Buy’s new line activation system for T-Mobile is down, and apparently has been for almost a week. One of our readers wrote in to let us know he has been trying to purchase a Google Nexus S with a new T-Mobile line of service, but has been unable to due to Best Buy’s activation issue. After repeated calls to store representatives, one admitted that they are not able to activate his Nexus S with a contract, and that he’d have to pay full retail for the device. We’ve pinged Best Buy for comment, but has anyone else had trouble out there trying to buy a Nexus S with new line of service?
Following the great news that Google’s unlocked Nexus S would be £429.99 at launch in the U.K. instead of £549.99 as it was initially announced, Carphone Warehouse has confirmed that the smartphone’s launch will be delayed. Fortunately, our friends across the pond only have a few days to wait — the Nexus S will now become available exclusively through Carphone Warehouse on Wednesday, December 22nd, for free on contract or the aforementioned £429.99 contract-free. We reviewed the Google Nexus S recently and found it to be our favorite Android phone on the market at this time, in spite of its cheap-feeling high-gloss plastic body. Hit the break for the full press note from Carphone Warehouse. More →
If you’re in the UK and are feverishly awaiting Google’s Nexus S device to become available tomorrow, you will pretty pleased to know that the price that SIM free phone will sell for has just been reduced. Carphone Warehouse now shows the Nexus S available for £429.99 as opposed to £549.99 when it first was announced and featured on their website. No official word on why the no contract handset’s price was lowered, but we’ll let you chime in with your own thoughts in the comments.
Almost a full year ago, Google offered up its vision of what a mobile phone experience should be. We’re not talking about just the phone itself, funny enough, but also how consumers purchase devices, choose their carriers and sign up for service. Jump to today, and Google’s back at it again, except there’s one (well, not just one) very big difference — instead of being sold directly by Google online, the Nexus S is available at physical stores, letting consumers and potential customers see and feel the device before they buy it. The Samsung manufactured Google Nexus S packs a heck of a lot of features into a small figure, and it runs Google’s latest Android OS, Gingerbread. Does Google’s implementation of hardware and software make for the best Android phone available on the market today? Is it the perfect phone for you? Hit the break to find out what we think!More →
The hour is upon us. Eager Android fans are finally able to get their mits on the latest and greatest Android smartphone (for now, at least) — Google’s Nexus S. The Nexus S is the first Android-powered device to ship with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which means it’s also the first Android phone with NFC onboard. While it is highly unlikely that anything truly interesting will materialize with NFC in the U.S. during this particular phone’s lifetime, the technology is something we should look forward to seeing in all Android devices down the road. Google has made it pretty clear that NFC is a big part of its strategy as the company looks for new revenue streams from its mobile business. Beyond NFC, the Nexus S features a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing secondary camera for video chat and plenty more. It became available online and in Best Buy stores starting at 8:00am Eastern this morning for $529.99 unlocked or $199.99 with a two-year T-Mobile service contract. More →