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Google's Android racing against Apple's iOS to deliver tap-to-buy features

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The latest battle to emerge in the war between Google's Android and Apple's iOS is the race to add support for Near Field Communications, a chip that enables users to tap their phone to initiate secure transactions.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt demonstrated a prototype Android phone at the Web 2.0 Summit today, focusing on features of the next major release of the Android OS, codenamed Gingerbread. A primary feature of the new release will be support for NFC, according to a report by TechCrunch.

Google plans to release Gingerbread "soon," with Schmidt saying it will happen within the next few weeks. The company released its last major distribution and SDK of Android OS 2.2 "Froyo" in May 2010, but Android phones are just now getting updated by the mix of hardware vendors and service providers who customize Android to their own handset and add layers of custom software, storefronts, and other bundled additions.

The addition of NFC to the upcoming Gingerbread release was a surprise, and particularly interesting because open software projects like Android can't really deliver surprises unless their development is not really open. Google effectively closes the open community of development on Android to deliver new releases with just a few select partners prior to delivering a major new release, at which point the software is again opened for volunteers to contribute towards.

Apple and NFC

Apple has been working to deliver NFC as an iPhone feature for at least a year, with reports of iPhone prototypes using RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) chips first surfacing last November.

This August, Apple hired Benjamin Vigier, who has been working with NFC technology since 2004. His previous role was project manager for mobile wallet, payment and NFC at mFoundry, a company that specializes in mobile payments.

In October, news broke that Apple had partnered with Gemalto, a Dutch security vendor involved in the NFC market, to deliver an open SIM that could be used to sell iPhones that work on any carrier, without requiring a SIM card tied to a specific one.

In addition to working across carriers and allowing users to select and activate service plans for their phone during the ordering process, the chip is also expected to provide NFC transaction features, authenticating users so they can make purchases directly from their phone without swiping a separate credit card. NFC is already widespread in some markets, including Japan.

Feature wars

Google has regularly added new features to Android to keep it differentiated from Apple's iPhone. It debuted support for a digital compass feature in the T-Mobile G1 in September 2008, a feature Apple later added to the iPhone 3GS the following summer. Google's partners also beat Apple in delivering higher resolution screens by about six months, although Apple's Retina Display on the iPhone 4 set a new standard in hardware.

Apple has pulled out some first features of its own, including iPhone 4's integrated FaceTime video conferencing and a 6-axis gyroscope. Apple and Google are also battling for supremacy in mobile ad sales, mobile software sales, music stores and streaming features, and support for enterprise features, where Android trails iOS significantly.

Apple and Google each have unique core strengths that enable them to either get features to market quicker (as Google does in partnering with multiple hardware vendors) or bring features to a large installed base faster (as Apple can in exercising control over the whole device platform).

Frenemies

Apple is also engaged in bidirectional patent disputes with Android vendors, including Motorola and HTC, but not with Google itself. Apple's partner in NFC, Gemalto, has sued Google directly for alleged infringement of its Java Card technology in Android, a suit that also names HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.

Google is also the target of a lawsuit by Oracle over the use of Java patents, a case that is not directly connected to Apple but does involve its close partner.

Apple and Google continue to partner in other areas, with Google supporting Apple's WebKit project and paying the company for directing search queries from Safari, both on the desktop and from iOS devices.
post #2 of 34
Let's be clear: Google doesn't actually debut anything by itself; they only push the software component. If Google sold a real, working product (hardware with software), Apple might have a huge intellectual property infringement case against them.

and I am not a lawyer. so there.
post #3 of 34
This update will require hardware, so all current apple and google os phones will not work. Apple will probably have this available next July. So the question is, can HTC or Motorola or whoever get it out that much quicker. I really don't care. I don't think i want a version 1.0 transaction phone be it iOS or Android. We're talking bank accounts here. Spooky stuff if they don't get it right.
post #4 of 34
I see a serious world of hurt in the making on this one. Considering the more wild-west nature of the Android ecosystem where malware apps are more prevalent, I can easily see hackers getting they garbage on a phone and next ringing up all kinds of charges without the user even knowing about it, except when they get the phone bill.

This is where I think iOS will be the more secure route to go. Even though, I will wait for quite a while before even contemplating giving my phone access to my banking information.
post #5 of 34
I bet:

Apple enables, not overtly but by terminal etc, users to determine when RFID chips are scanning you.

Google no way, your data shouldn't be private, if you think it should be private you shouldn't be doing it anyway (is there anything more big brother than that?).
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google plans to release Gingerbread "soon," with Schmidt saying it will happen within the next few weeks. The company released its last major distribution and SDK of Android OS 2.2 "Froyo" in May 2010, but Android phones are just now getting updated by the mix of hardware vendors and service providers who customize Android to their own handset and add layers of custom software, storefronts, and other bundled additions.

They are? Then why is my daughter's new Motorola phone (5 months old) still stuck on Android 1.5 - with no signs of anything newer and even Motorola doesn't promise that it will ever run 2.2?
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I really don't care. I don't think i want a version 1.0 transaction phone be it iOS or Android. We're talking bank accounts here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Even though, I will wait for quite a while before even contemplating giving my phone access to my banking information.

I think the idea is that charges will go through to either your iTunes account or your carrier.

The phone doesn't actually know your credit card number.
post #8 of 34
One of the impacts of the market downturn is that people in the US, on the average, use their credit cards much less. The savings rate has also increased since the market downturn.

I see more people using cash these days, but that is very anecdotal, although some of the networks mentioned it awhile back.

There is a slight uptick this holiday season, especially with the earlier holiday discounting (instead of waiting for the weekend after Thanksgiving.


N.B. Except for Google search, YouTube and Google Translate, I try to avoid using Google products - I just don't like their privacy policies.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Apple has pulled out some first features of its own, including iPhone 4's integrated FaceTime video conferencing ...

Er, I believe the HTC Evo had video chatting first. Not that it matters, nor do I really care...just sayin’.
post #10 of 34
Froyo has been out since, what, May? The latest stats show that barely a third of Android users are running it yet. It's going to take Google at least 6 months to get a sufficient number of users on 2.3 for this to matter.

It's strange because Google, with a fully open source operating system, should be the fast and sneaky one in the smartphone market, but the reality is that they're slow and plodding and held back by the very openness that makes Android a compelling OS in the first place.

I wonder how they will ever get around that. The only conceivable way is to force the hardware makers and telecoms into stricter licensing agreements, but then the Android ideal starts to look a lot more like the Windows PC circa 1995. I'm not sure Google and its users would warm to that model.

EDIT: Before anyone jumps on me for guesswork, I was right. Android 2.2 is running on 36.2% of the devices out there.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I think the idea is that charges will go through to either your iTunes account or your carrier.

The phone doesn't actually know your credit card number.

If it knows my iTunes account it knows my banking account. What's the difference? If you are in proximity of an RFID device a transaction can occur. I will probably use the technology but I don't want to be on the bleeding edge of it.
post #12 of 34
Cat and Mouse-Sometimes one is Tom, sometimes one is Jerry. Either way it's always entertaining!
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

N.B. Except for Google search, YouTube and Google Translate, I try to avoid using Google products - I just don't like their privacy policies.

You're life is being sucked into Google even if you're not using their products; every time you load a page which has their ads or analytics (which is a huge percentage of all sites!), the big G is tracking you, my friend. Helpful hint: add this to your /etc/hosts file. It's not exhaustive, but a start:

127.0.0.1 .doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 fls.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 pubads.g.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com
127.0.0.1 ssl.google-analytics.com
127.0.0.1 video-stats.I.google.com
127.0.0.1 googleads.g.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com

And you don't really need to use google search either. Check out other options, like Ixquick, they're pretty good. If you do insist on searching w/google, use Firefox and the "Google Sharing" plugin.

Just like "safe sex" we should all promote "safe search". Enjoy.
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
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post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

And you don't really need to use google search either. Check out other options, like Ixquick, they're pretty good. If you do insist on searching w/google, use Firefox and the "Google Sharing" plugin.

Just like "safe sex" we should all promote "safe search". Enjoy.

Thanks for great recommendations. Never know such a add-on existed.



post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

If it knows my iTunes account it knows my banking account. What's the difference?

It might seem like the same thing at first but there is an important distinction.

If someone has all of your bank account details they can go an buy themselves a $5000 TV, or clear out your account, or in the worst case, steal your identity.

If all can they access if your iTunes account the worst they can do is make iTunes purchases online or more low-cost RFID purchases.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

You're life is being sucked into Google even if you're not using their products; every time you load a page which has their ads or analytics (which is a huge percentage of all sites!), the big G is tracking you, my friend. Helpful hint: add this to your /etc/hosts file. It's not exhaustive, but a start:

Or just go to http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html and they tell you how to opt out.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

If it knows my iTunes account it knows my banking account. What's the difference?

If you don't plan to buy BMW with your iPhone then just use GC for your iTunes account. No need for bank information.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Let's be clear: Google doesn't actually debut anything by itself; they only push the software component. If Google sold a real, working product (hardware with software), Apple might have a huge intellectual property infringement case against them.

and I am not a lawyer. so there.

And google would against apple too. Anyway looks like android is going to get NFC first
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Or just go to http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html and they tell you how to opt out.

Is this the same as using GoogleSharing or is it still collecting my data but not using it YET?
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

If it knows my iTunes account it knows my banking account. What's the difference? If you are in proximity of an RFID device a transaction can occur. I will probably use the technology but I don't want to be on the bleeding edge of it.

Dude, this technology has been used in the US for at least the past five years. Have you heard of pay pass from mastercard?

http://www.paypass.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPass#PayPass

Not to mention how long it has been in use in Japan. It's amazing how afraid some Americans are of these types of technology (I was until I moved to Europe). I guess the difference is that here in Denmark (the only place in Europe where I know this is a fact), the banks actually protect you against theft and fraudulent charges. Essentially every place where you can handle a money exchange you can use a credit card (though those special ones with the chip). Net banking is also so integrated into society that there is almost no reason to even go to a branch.
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Excuse me. Um. I'm actually supposed to be getting out of jail.
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post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is this the same as using GoogleSharing or is it still collecting my data but not using it YET?

When you opt out, it works like Street View: they collect your data "inadvertently".

Trusting Google to not track you is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They are? Then why is my daughter's new Motorola phone (5 months old) still stuck on Android 1.5 - with no signs of anything newer and even Motorola doesn't promise that it will ever run 2.2?

Are you talking about the Backflip? She can have it up to 2.1 at the moment.

http://www.motorola.com/Support/US-E...re_Update_Page

But does her phone really need 2.2?
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

It might seem like the same thing at first but there is an important distinction.

If someone has all of your bank account details they can go an buy themselves a $5000 TV, or clear out your account, or in the worst case, steal your identity.

If all can they access if your iTunes account the worst they can do is make iTunes purchases online or more low-cost RFID purchases.

This technology will never be used for iTunes purchases or other online purchases because the RFID requires proximity. Your phone has to be a few hundred feet from the cashier for this to work.

I believe this will be used big time at Gas Stations and Retail stores, and even the Apple Store in your city. You are assuming this will flow thru iTunes accounts, which is possible. It is also possible and likely for it to flow through your bank accounts. Either way I can go to a automobile dealership who has the RFID capability and buy a $50,000 car with the phone so long as i have the credit limit (credit card) or enough money in the bank (debit card). So it's a bit scary to be out on the cutting edge of this. And yes, I believe you will be able to go to Best Buy and purchase a $5000 TV with the phone as early as next July assuming the banks and credit card companies get on board. I think that the whole point of this technology is to purchase items anywhere with your phone with no debit or credit card required. I'm not saying i would never do it. I am just saying I wont be the first. I'll probably wait until we are a couple years into this technology.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Sure View Post

Dude, this technology has been used in the US for at least the past five years. Have you heard of pay pass from mastercard?

http://www.paypass.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPass#PayPass

Not to mention how long it has been in use in Japan. It's amazing how afraid some Americans are of these types of technology (I was until I moved to Europe). I guess the difference is that here in Denmark (the only place in Europe where I know this is a fact), the banks actually protect you against theft and fraudulent charges. Essentially every place where you can handle a money exchange you can use a credit card (though those special ones with the chip). Net banking is also so integrated into society that there is almost no reason to even go to a branch.

Not the same thing! Phones have access to the internet and wireless networks and can be hacked. It's not like i'm swiping a card at a gas station pump.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

This update will require hardware, so all current apple and google os phones will not work. Apple will probably have this available next July. So the question is, can HTC or Motorola or whoever get it out that much quicker. I really don't care. I don't think i want a version 1.0 transaction phone be it iOS or Android. We're talking bank accounts here. Spooky stuff if they don't get it right.

Maybe I'm getting old but this feature doesn't interest me even a tiny bit. I really don't want my phone being my purchasing power, it is far more likely to be left somewhere than my wallet & if I ever need it repaired or replaced I can't imagine that will be hassle free. I really think this whole craze to make spending money easier is ridiculous, most people really need spending to be a little harder as the average American lives paycheck to paycheck and many have tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

Maybe I'm getting old but this feature doesn't interest me even a tiny bit. I really don't want my phone being my purchasing power, it is far more likely to be left somewhere than my wallet & if I ever need it repaired or replaced I can't imagine that will be hassle free. I really think this whole craze to make spending money easier is ridiculous, most people really need spending to be a little harder as the average American lives paycheck to paycheck and many have tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

I agree. And your point about security risks of leaving your phone somewhere to be repaired is a good one.
post #27 of 34
What Apple should do (if they aren't already doing it) is "leak" all sorts of completely fantastic stuff about all kinds of crazy features that will be, "added to the iPhone." Then they can sit back and have a good laugh at Eric's expense while Google goes crazy trying to stuff all that into Android. It'll be even more fun if Apple patents these things as much as possible before they "leak" it.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

What Apple should do (if they aren't already doing it) is "leak" all sorts of completely fantastic stuff about all kinds of crazy features that will be, "added to the iPhone." Then they can sit back and have a good laugh at Eric's expense while Google goes crazy trying to stuff all that into Android. It'll be even more fun if Apple patents these things as much as possible before they "leak" it.

Pretty sure they already do this sort of thing. Seems that is why we see ho many 7" tablets being developed/released, after months of 'leaks' about a 7" iPad.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Pretty sure they already do this sort of thing. Seems that is why we see ho many 7" tablets being developed/released, after months of 'leaks' about a 7" iPad.

The Tablet That Never Was?
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

What Apple should do (if they aren't already doing it) is "leak" all sorts of completely fantastic stuff about all kinds of crazy features that will be, "added to the iPhone." Then they can sit back and have a good laugh at Eric's expense while Google goes crazy trying to stuff all that into Android. It'll be even more fun if Apple patents these things as much as possible before they "leak" it.

As you saying that Apple should leak all these features as a distraction only for Google (readL not plan to implement them themselves)? The downside of this "plan" is what if the Google engineers weed out the truly fantastic and actually do figure out a way of implementing the rest in Android in a timely fashion? And then use that as inspiration for additional features? Apple will then have no choice but to implement it in iOS too or it'll look "behind the times".

No, it's much safer for Apple to hold its hand and show it when it's needed.
\Apple has always had competition. It's just been in its blind spot.
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AsianBob View Post

As you saying that Apple should leak all these features as a distraction only for Google (readL not plan to implement them themselves)? The downside of this "plan" is what if the Google engineers weed out the truly fantastic and actually do figure out a way of implementing the rest in Android in a timely fashion? ...

Uhm, they wouldn't actually "leak" the "truly fantastic" features.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

You're life is being sucked into Google even if you're not using their products; every time you load a page which has their ads or analytics (which is a huge percentage of all sites!), the big G is tracking you, my friend.
<snip>
And you don't really need to use google search either. Check out other options, like Ixquick, they're pretty good. If you do insist on searching w/google, use Firefox and the "Google Sharing" plugin.

Just like "safe sex" we should all promote "safe search". Enjoy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Or just go to http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html and they tell you how to opt out.

You're joking, right? This doesn't opt you out of any data collection, aggregation, disaggregation, etc. The only thing it opts you out of is receiving ads specifically targeted to you, based on your Google profile. It's terribly misleading to the masses of naive users.

The irony of encouraging users to explicitly allow a tracking cookie for the purposes of not being tracked would be extremely entertaining if it weren't so evil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Is this the same as using GoogleSharing or is it still collecting my data but not using it YET?

Bingo, you get the prize. They still create incredibly detailed profiles of you, but you don't get the targeted ads. It's almost like getting the worst of all worlds (if you do actually buy stuff that you find through google ads)

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

When you opt out, it works like Street View: they collect your data "inadvertently".

Trusting Google to not track you is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

When you opt out "they collect your data inadvertently". Hahaha, that's a great one, thanks for the laugh!

And the fox/henhouse is exactly right.
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post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

This technology will never be used for iTunes purchases or other online purchases because the RFID requires proximity. Your phone has to be a few hundred feet from the cashier for this to work.

No, it won't. For commercial readers the chip needs to be within a couple of inches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

I believe this will be used big time at Gas Stations and Retail stores, and even the Apple Store in your city.

And to buy your newspaper, your morning coffee, catch a bus etc. Things that people usually use cash for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

You are assuming this will flow thru iTunes accounts, which is possible.

iTunes or your carrier. There isn't much sense in them including the functionality otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

And yes, I believe you will be able to go to Best Buy and purchase a $5000 TV with the phone as early as next July assuming the banks and credit card companies get on board.

Existing implementations put transaction limits on them. I'm not really sure why, it's safer than a mag stripe (not safer than chip card though)

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

Not the same thing! Phones have access to the internet and wireless networks and can be hacked. It's not like i'm swiping a card at a gas station pump.

Where do you think your card number goes after you swipe it?
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The Tablet That Never Was?

Exactly. Everyone thinking Apple was going to do a 7" and surprise, everyone and their brother starts developing and releasing 7" tablets. As per your suggestion that Apple 'leak' a bunch of features that have no intention of developing in order to get their competitors working like crazy on doing it first. Seems to have already worked in the tablet sector. Apple felt/knew a 7" was not where they wanted to be, so it seems like a great way to convince competitors to waste resources developing really great 7" tablets that consumers will realize are too small.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
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