Bad news: Google Wallet
isn't going to work on anything besides the Nexus S 4G for the foreseeable future. Yes, that includes Verizon's Galaxy Nexus
, and very probably AT&T and T-Mobile versions, if they ever appear. Computer World
broke the story, though I'd be wary of anything labelled "confirmed" from that particular source
. Unfortunately, the news is not entirely unexpected.
Why? Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have already begun an initiative to create an NFC payment network for the United States
, and have gotten Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG in on the system. ISIS is currently set to launch sometime next year. The simplest answer to a lack of Google Wallet integration with the U.S. version of the Galaxy Nexus is that Verizon doesn't want to compete with Google for NFC payments, a field that many consider to be on the cusp of mass consumer adoption. This hasn't been confirmed, but it seems like the most likely culprit.
This is annoying in many ways. One, consumers shouldn't be forced to use a carrier-supplied system on an "open" smartphone, especially since the Nexus line is supposed to be free of carrier interaction. We've already seen a disturbing first move by Verizon with included bloatware apps
. Two, why should Verizon block, or even be allowed to block, apps that compete with its services? After all, you can still access YouTube and Movies in the Android Market, even though Verizon offers V-Cast videos.
Of course, the wonderful thing about the Nexus line is a rabid community dedicated to modding it and improving it. Solutions to Verizon's meddling have already appeared in the form of custom kernels and carrier ID tweaks. It takes a lot to keep Android users from doing what they want, especially when devices aren't saddled with locked bootloaders
. If you want to use Google Wallet on the Galaxy Nexus, or any AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile Android phone, get comfortable with root tools and custom ROMs.