Google Wallet becomes more useful

Google Wallet, the search giant’s answer to online and offline payments via NFC-enabled Android phones, has added a very convenient feature that enables users to pay with any credit card using any of the 7 NFC Android devices, including the new Nexus 7 tablet. All you have to do is add the credit card on your Google Wallet account online and start paying for your purchases on over 200,000 retailers nationwide.

They’ve also added extra security features that allows users to wipe and disable their Google Wallet account on their device in case it gets lost or stolen. Also, for an additional layer of security, all the credit card information is store on Google’s servers. Watch the following video to learn more:

Google Wallet users out there, are you excite about the possibility of leaving your physical wallet at home (but please remember to take your ID)?

Via [GoogleCommerce Blog]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell.

Google+ sees 66% growth in 9 months

The lastest comScore number are out and according to the stats, Google+ has seen an impressive growth sprout over the last 9 months. Those stats are confirmed by other sources, but must taken with a grain of salt since they aren’t official numbers directly from Google. Morten Myrstad, a self-titled Brand & Content Professional mentions via a Google+ post:

In pure numbers, Google+ according to comScore grew from 66,7 million visitors worldwide last November to 110,7 million visitors in June. This is a growth of 66%. With 110,7 million unique visitors during a month, from desktops only, the comScore data also seem to confirm Google’s own published data: 250 million accounts, 150 million monthly users and 75 million daily users worldwide. According to the comScore data, 25% of the Google+ worldwide visitors in June came from the U.S., up from 22,8% in November last year.

In the same period of time, Facebook’s stats seem to have decreased, from 166 million unique views to 158 million views, but Facebook’s engagement metric is probably maagnitudes larger than Google+’s. While Google+’s number seem to grow, one has to wonder what kind of real market penetration Montain View’s forray into social networking really has.

Via [The Verge] and [Morten Myrstad]

Google fast-tracks voice assistant development

In an interesting, but not necesarily surprising, tidbit for information, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has ramped up the development of their Voice Assistance, formerly known as Majel, to better compete with Apple’s revamped Siri.

“As Google and Apple’s share has grown, the fighting between them has intensified. Last week, Apple unveiled the next version of its software for iPhones and iPads with a slate of features aimed at distancing itself from Google. They include a mapping service and enhanced Siri “virtual assistant” that provides an alternative way to search for information besides the traditional Google search box.

Google, meanwhile, has accelerated plans to launch its own Siri competitor that would work on Android-powered devices, people familiar with the matter have said.”

This comes a week before the big Google event where the search giant is expected to launch a Google-developed Android tablet, the Nexus 7, and perhaps their new mobile operating system, Jelly Bean. Android already ships with a very competent Siri equivalent and Samsung developed their own, Voice S, but what Google perhaps needs is a bit of marketing: show people how your Siri works, how its better than Apple’s, and how you can leverage your massive network of servers and computing power to make a better assistant. Please do it, but don’t hire Zooey Deschanel.

Via [Wall Streen Journal]

Cross-posted from TechnologyTell