After its initial teaser in July, Google Wallet for Android has officially rolled out its link-based pass-sharing feature. This innovative feature allows for the seamless sharing of airline boarding passes and event tickets.
- Upon opening a pass, users will notice it below a carousel of credit and debit cards.
- If pass sharing is supported, a share icon will be visible next to the overflow menu. Notably, there’s a slight delay in its appearance.
- Users receive a warning: “You can’t undo sharing of this pass. Once you share this pass, the recipient can forward it to anyone.” This reminder appears each time, with no option to permanently dismiss it.
- The sharing action generates a unique URL from pay.google.com. Tapping this link on Android devices launches the Google Wallet app, where the pass can be saved. Conveniently, the screen auto-brightens for easy scanning.
- Desktop and iOS users are directed to a web UI, allowing them to fully access and save the pass, including its QR code, after adding it to their Google Account. This feature is especially beneficial for households using both Android and iPhone devices.
Understanding “Valuables” in Google Wallet
Google’s recent statement regarding the ability to share “valuables” in Google Wallet raised many eyebrows. It has since been clarified that “valuables” refer to passes, aligning with the new feature’s rollout.
- The sharing feature, as highlighted by 9to5Google, allows users to distribute boarding passes via links. It has also been spotted for event passes.
- Google spokesperson, Leismer Schulten, confirmed in an interview with The Verge that sharing capabilities would be integrated into the Wallet app. He cited boarding and event passes as examples, suggesting potential expansion of this feature in the future.
- Importantly, companies issuing these passes through Google Wallet have the discretion to enable or disable the sharing feature. As a result, some passes may remain unshareable.
Google Wallet Boosts QR Code Functionality
With digital wallets evolving, Google Wallet showcases its versatility by enhancing its QR code capabilities.
- A recent update indicated an integration with Android’s default QR code scanner, streamlining the addition of passes to the app.
- Prior to this, Google Wallet allowed users to store boarding passes by scanning barcodes or QR codes from photos. The latest beta version of Google Play Services unveils a broader functionality, letting users scan pass photos, screenshots, and even smart health cards, which contain crucial vaccine-related details, directly using Android’s built-in QR scanner.
- This process is user-friendly. After scanning a QR code or choosing the “Scan from photo” option, a prompt to “Add to Wallet” appears. Clicking “Add” redirects users to the Google Wallet app, with the scanned pass details ready for saving. This new integration eliminates redundant steps, ensuring a quicker, more efficient experience.
- For users interested in utilizing Android’s default QR code scanner, it can be accessed as an optional Quick Settings tile. Once activated, it’s easily accessible from the notification shade.
- Advanced users with rooted devices can get early access to these features using GappsMod by tweaking certain flags in the Google Play Services beta version.
Conclusion: Google’s Vision for a Comprehensive Wallet
Having reintroduced Google Wallet as a separate entity from Google Pay last year, Google’s intentions are evident. The tech giant envisions Google Wallet not just as a storage platform for credit cards, but as a comprehensive tool aiming to replace traditional wallets. With these new features, Google is undoubtedly making significant strides towards realizing this ambitious vision.
As the world gravitates towards digital solutions, Google’s initiative to transform Google Wallet into an all-encompassing digital companion mirrors the evolving needs of consumers. With physical wallets becoming cumbersome and a potential security risk, the push toward a digital counterpart seems both inevitable and timely.