Google releases its new Wallet app for Android and WearOS with an annoying bug for the latter

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Slowly but surely, we are getting to a point in time where our lives are becoming completely virtual without our phones leading the way in that pursuit.

These days, more often than not, you can get away with just going outside with your handset. Of course it depends on your region and country, but the option to pay effortlessly with your phone is widely accepted at the moment. At the I/O 2022 Google event in May, the company announced it would be releasing an updated version of Google Pay Easily called “Wallet.” That update has now officially started rolling out on both Android and WearOS. (via 9to5Google)

What is Google Wallet?

Much like Apple’s version of this — the Apple Wallet app — Google is trying to provide a similar kind of convenience, making it possible to add virtually anything you carry in your pockets or physical wallet on a daily basis. That includes your event and travel tickets, your ID cards and VISAs, gift/loyalty cards, vaccination records, even virtual keys to your car, as well as debit/credit cards. In terms of how it looks, Google’s new Wallet app is fully integrated with Android 12’s Material You design language, which adds dynamic color themes to your phone’s interface. As you use Wallet, you will be greeted by a carousel with all your payment cards at the top of your screen and all cards and tickets at the bottom.

You also have an “Add to Wallet” button in the lower right corner of your screen while in the Wallet app. Plus, that’s where you’ll also find the new lock screen shortcut button to the Wallet app on your Pixel phone — it’s displayed with the same icon as the app itself.

It’s worth noting that Google’s new Wallet application will not completely replace all Google Pay (GPay) functionality. GPay will still be the way to go through transactions (just like Apple Wallet and Apple Pay), meaning you’ll still see it when you pay online or in brick-and-mortar stores.

Google Wallet on WearOS

The Google Wallet update is also rolling out to WearOS smartwatches, although it doesn’t have too many features at the moment. For now, you can mainly use Wallet to make tap-to-pay payments with your wearable.

But that doesn’t mean the big G isn’t going to expand on Wallet for WearOS. It even says, “We’ll be adding more functionality and features to Google Wallet later this year and expanding Google Wallet support to more countries.”

Most likely the functionality and features Google is implying with this statement that there are many of those available in the Android version of the app such as public transport tickets, events, gym tickets, etc. Later, we could also see support for IDs, driver’s licenses, virtual car keys and Lake. Apple has already made this possible with its own virtual wallet app.

You can get this bug with Wallet for WearOS

However, it seems that the WearOS version of the app is causing an issue with some smartwatches once the update is installed, it will disable the ability to double-click a hardware button (if you have one) to activate GPay. There are reports from owners of the Fossil Gen 5 (Google owns Fossil) and the TicWatch Pro 3. The problem is that it’s not really possible for users to remap the button to make it functional again. However, there are at least other ways to activate GPay, such as pairing it with another button or setting up a Google Wallet watch face.

Google hasn’t released a statement on the issue with the WearOS Wallet app yet, so for now we can only hope it gets fixed in the coming weeks.

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