Google recently updated its “Help” section for its mobile payment Wallet application with new information about software requirement for payments. Right now, Google Wallet’s tap-and-pay feature works on select devices, such as those on Sprint and its own Nexus devices, so that you can make purchases using just your smartphone. Soon, however, it will require that all devices run Android 4.4 KitKat before you can use the tap-and-pay function.
“Beginning on April 14, 2014, devices with Android versions older than Android 4.4 (KitKat) will no longer be supported for tap and pay,” Google warns on its website. That probably includes a lot of devices on Sprint that are either older, or haven’t ever been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. Also, due to the age of some handsets, Android 4.4 KitKat won’t be delivered. The company also warns that the Galaxy Note III, EVO 4G LTE and the 2012 Nexus 7 don’t support tap and pay, even with KitKat installed.
Thankfully other options are available. If you’re on AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless, you can use Isis mobile payments. That requires a separate application and a special SIM card, but if you’re really set on using your phone for mobile payments you’re not entirely left out in the cold. If anything, this sort of feels like Google is winding down Google Wallet. Hopefully it gets another burst of life in the future.