Google Wallet raises bar: Check compatibility requirements set for Android, Wear OS

This move comes as Google increases the minimum requirement for the Wallet app to Android 9 or later for smartphones and Wear OS 2.0 or later for smartwatches. 

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Satyam Singh
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Courtesy: X/@SaudiAndroid

Google Wallet users need to take heed: the popular payment app is undergoing major changes. The tech behemoth has announced that it will soon stop supporting older versions of Android and Wear OS, potentially rendering the app unusable for some users. This move comes as Google increases the minimum requirement for the Wallet app to Android 9 or later for smartphones and Wear OS 2.0 or later for smartwatches. 

The primary motivation behind this decision, according to Google, is to enhance security and ensure access to new features. With older operating system versions, the company faces limitations in implementing crucial security updates. Consequently, users with devices running on outdated Android or Wear OS builds may find themselves unable to receive these critical security patches.

New requirements effective from June 10

Recently updated information on Google Wallet's support page outlines these changes. It explicitly states that the Wallet app will now mandate Android 9 or higher for smartphones. The rationale provided is clear: "To help keep Wallet features more secure, we must be able to send security updates to your device. Security updates aren't available for Android versions below 9.0."

Similar requirements will be enforced for Wear OS, with a minimum version of Wear OS 2.x becoming necessary to run the app. These adjustments are slated to take effect from June 10, as reported by 9to5Google.

Implications for users

Users currently relying on older Android or Wear OS builds should take note of these developments. Failure to upgrade to the specified versions may result in an inability to access Google Wallet's full suite of features and services. Additionally, users may miss out on forthcoming updates and enhancements planned by Google for the app.

What are Wallet app's unique features?

Despite these changes, Google recently introduced its Wallet app in India on May 8. Unlike in other regions, the app does not replace Google Pay but operates alongside it. Google Wallet serves as a centralized platform for storing a variety of items, including boarding passes, loyalty cards, event tickets, and transit passes, in addition to payment capabilities. 

Google has forged partnerships with over 20 prominent companies in India, including major players like PVR, Inox, Air India, Indigo, Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Ixigo, and Pine Labs. The tech giant plans to expand its collaboration with more companies in the coming months, enhancing the versatility and functionality of Google Wallet for Indian users.