Google Wallet

Google Wallet is acting up again, and this time it seems like everyone with an EVO 4G LTE is either locked out of the app or unable to install it because they have an unsupported device in an equally unsupported country. Never mind the fact that the device was support previously, and the EVO 4G LTE is sold only in the lone supported country. Unfortunately, those are the only two things anyone outside of Google and Sprint are sure of.

Could the app be blocked purposely for an imminent roll-out of Sprint's own Touch Wallet service? While that's possible, it's just as likely that there's an error and this is a bug -- Google Wallet has been pretty temperamental. If you ask Wallet support, they will respond thusly:

Hello xxx,

Thank you for calling Google Wallet. You called us regarding being unable

to access the Google Wallet app on your HTC Evo.

Google Wallet is temporarily unavailable on your device and our
engineering team is working hard to make sure Google Wallet is working as
intended. We will be sure to let you know when full functionality has
resumed.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

It was a pleasure assisting you today. Feel free to contact us again if
you have any additional questions regarding Google Wallet or visit our
Help Center at Wallet Help

Sincerely,

Michelle
The Google Wallet Team

Since that's all we really have to go with, we're gonna call it growing pains. Sure wish Wallet would finish growing ...

Discuss in the EVO 4G LTE forums

 

Reader comments

Google Wallet not playing nice with the HTC EVO 4G LTE

39 Comments

I'm a little disappointed it took you guys this long to mention this. I was really hoping for some investigate reporting to uncover the real story since all we get is that canned email you mention in your article. Please keep some pressure on Google and/or Sprint to keep us updated.

i blame HTC and not Google. leave it to HTC to bastardize and adulterate Android with their deeply entrenched resource hogging and conflicting Sense and bloatware. no wonder it doesn't play nice. this is what you ask for and this is what you get when you buy a skinned device and this is why i will always buy Nexus. look for more bad news from HTC in the future. they still don't get it.

do you hear me Chou????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It worked on the preordered phones before the release date. Once the phones started appearing in stores they shut it off.

Thanks for clarifying that, I have the pre-ordered phone and been wondering what the "can't install" deal was about.

I'm honestly not too concerned about it. All of my debit cards are Visa, which obviously isn't supported in Wallet. And there are still a lot of places I go which don't have NFC readers. I'm sorry, but this isn't Sprint or HTC or any other carrier's fault. Google dropped the ball on this one big time. I love the idea. It's great, but the execution has been amazingly bad.

No wonder why carriers don't want to deal with Google Wallet. Our money is too important to trust to some flaky service that only works when it feels like so.

But back to the EVO LTE case, probably someone discovered a serious security flaw and Google decided to deactivate service while the problem gets fixed. Maybe a bug that allowed the user access to funds he/she wasn't entitled to? Probably not, but the top secrecy this issue has been handled with by Google suggests something like this could've happened.

Exactly, well said.

My question is what does the carrier have to do with it? Why is it I can run Pay-Pal, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, B.O.A apps directly from my phone to pay bills, but some how the carriers have to approve Google Wallet?

Its a simple data transaction for pete sake!
Who says the carriers get a say about this? Who says I want the carriers involved in my payment transaction?

Deactivated this feature yesterday and I don't think I'll ever miss it.

I won't miss home screen reloads either if that ever gets fixed on this frustrating device.

FYI... this is not affecting all EVO 4G LTE's. Google Wallet on mine is performing normally, with no issues whatsoever. I just used it yesterday to pay for dinner.

I fixed my Sense reloads yesterday by rooting my phone. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing and was incredibly easy to do. After doing that, I installed ROM toolbox to adjust the memory management a settings and ours been smooth sailing from there.

Just one more reason why my Sprint EVO 4G LTE is sitting in a drawer at home and my daily driver remains my Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile. I'm actually getting ready to ETF my 13 year old Sprint account.

EVO 4G LTE: Worst. Rollout. Ever.

The EVO walks all over the galaxy nexus, even with Sprint's crappy 3G service. I highly doubt you have a brand new phone sitting in a drawer on a Sprint line you don't use. What a waste of money.

What's even better is if you forget to wipe the Google Wallet settings before flashing a new rom you permanently brick your security element within your NFC chip which renders Google Wallet useless.

Google Wallet is finished. Too many issues and not enough support for the service.

Some people (not me, luckily) had their own money loaded on the prepaid card before it was deactivated. You'd have "angst and drama" too if google was holding your money hostage. Especially since Google Wallet was preloaded on the phone, not hacked on after the fact.

There are several options for these people. Call them and request a refund, its my understanding they will send a check but it will take a bit to receive. If that's a problem, call your credit card company and dispute the charges and have them fight it out with Google.

Everyone predicting the death of Google Wallet because 1 device which is one of the first to support this technology is having problems? Seems a bit over dramatic. NFC payments are not widely supported even with the big boys in the financial industry. Its a brand new phone using a new app using technology that is not widely adopted by retailers OR major financial institutions.

Do people really expect Google to be able to make this technology mainstream when someone like Mastercard certainly has not yet?

*sighs* Google wallet is mostly dead at this point. It was a great idea like most of Google's ideas. But also like many of Google's ideas it was a flawed execution based on assumptions that companies\people would just play along. I've said this 100 times and I will continue to believe it until the day I die: Google is a company run by engineers. This isn't always a bad thing, but it isn't always a good thing either.

*shakes head* Google is quite possibly one of the most brilliant, naive, gullible companies on this planet. Good intentions and a good idea means exactly jack **** in the marketplace if you don't know how to sell it. Android is one of the few rare exceptions to this, and I'm 100% certain its because it was free. If Google had charged for android I'm pretty sure it would be relegated to the scrapheap with Wave, Buzz, Groups,Health, etc.

(Rolls eyes). Its dead because one of the first mainstream phones to support a new technology isn't working right within a month of its release? It hasn't even gotten started yet. Its not like even MAJOR financial institutions are pushing the technology yet in the U.S. Do you see banks like Chase, BoA, etc advertising it? Sure some might support it like Mastercard Paypass but its not like there is a major push to get this technology into the hands of the consumers yet.

When most new phones starting supporting it, and probably more importantly in the U.S. - the iPhone starts supporting it.. I think things will take off quicker. A lot of this is out of Google's control.

Again, they need to communicate better about the problem, but if its security related perhaps they don't want to give details. The Evo is the first phone to be sold in significant quantities that had people trying to use Wallet - I don't think they could have anticipated everything.

No, it's dead because the major players don't want to deal with the complexity of the system and its weaknesses. There are just too many potential issues with how the system operates that may cause it to fail. This instance with the EVO 4G LTE is just one of them!

Also, you have to consider that the majority of people out there either don't have a smartphone or if they do would never consider using it as a payment device. They already have credit/debit cards or even cash! Yes, good ol' cash, still used and extremely valuable, doesn't require power or electronics or communication methods to authenticate payment! K.I.S.S principle!

If the system is too complex and has too many weaknesses then its not Google causing it to fail its Mastercard etc.. Google is just piggybacking off the existing NFC payment system set up by the credit card companies. But you are right in that its NOT been widely adopted in the U.S. by consumers, but it has in other countries in Europe/Asia.

It took a long time for people to move away from always having cash, now almost everyone has a debit card and uses that.. It will likely take a long time to get people to change to NFC as well. I think this is a long haul issue for Google (Or Sprint) whomever tries to push it into mainstream use. Its not happening overnight but I know 20 or so years ago everyone said why do I need a debit card and now you can use them everywhere.

I truly believe this is related to Sprint and their competing Wallet service. I have an open ticket with Google Wallet myself for my EVO LTE which I have had for 2 weeks and it is awful strange that I could get it working if I chose to use the the known exploit that makes the service think my phone is a Samsung device. This leads me to believe that the Google Wallet service is just fine but that a request has been made maybe by Sprint, maybe by HTC to reject the device. I choose not to run the expolit because I want it work as an HTC device as it should. Whoever is at fault here Sprint, HTC or Google doesn't matter to me as much as the fact that someone should just tell the staight story.

I don't understand why people keep saying this. There has been NOTHING to indicate this. Conspiracy theories aside, usually the simplest answer is the true cause. There is a problem with the Evo and Google is trying to fix it. Its likely security related thus the reason why Google or Sprint decided to turn it off until its resolved. If it was a Sprint issue, wouldn't the Google Nexus also be blocked?

Chuckle.

Problems with the phone?
This is why Verizon wouldn't let it on their version of the Nexus too, I suppose.

I have this bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you....

The problem is money network requires your cust ID to do transactions. This is locked in the app and unacceptable currently.

Someone officially needs to say why EVO LTE was disabled. This isn't the first phone to use the pay pass network, nor the only device since cards use it just fine. The lack of communication is appalling. Any other financial institution has to let customers know what's going on, why is google hiding?

The phone was sold to me with an app that allowed me to give google money to hold on to. Then that app no longer functions, and there's no way to get the money...sounds like fraud.

I don't think the problem with Google Wallet not working is confined to the new Evo. I have a pre-US release GSM Galaxy Nexus stock with the yakju build on AT&T and it could run Google Wallet until Google started selling the US GSM version with the takju build. Now, Google Wallet does not load and I get the message that I have an unsupported device/unsupported country. I called Google Wallet support and they confirmed that it works on the US version. The solution is probably to flash the takju build but I haven't done this yet and Google obviously would not confirm whether it would work. In any case, it seems like a cheesy way to "support" one of their promoted technologies on their flagship device. I'm with SiliconAddict on this one, sometimes engineers just don't get it.

I have the same situation as you, yet my Wallet app works fine after the Play Store started selling the US version. Just checked it and confirmed that it loads fine. It has be something else other than Google.

That makes some sense. But since the Google Wallet customer service rep indicated that only the US version of the GSM Galaxy Nexus sold by Google is supported, I'm left guessing as to what the source of the problem might be. Other than build prop info, I'm not sure what the Google Wallet software is monitoring in order to launch.

The Google Rep probably told you that because you are in the US and that is technically the only way you are supposed to get it here. You will have a better chance figuring out a solution to your problem on the forums here or on XDA.

I find it more than a little suspicious that Google Wallet "broke" on my Evo within hours of a transaction which reduced the balance on my Google Prepaid card to less than $1.00.

My thought is that code in the Wallet app was actually waiting for the balance to fall to insignificance so that the planned (for whatever reason) shutoff of GW could proceed without too much complaint from me...

Given the circumstances of the shutoff it is just not credible that the problem is some sort of software defect.

So what is the real reason that Sprint / Google / whoever does not want me to use GW?