After much hoopla Google Wallet finally launched on the Nexus S last September, but it was only available on Sprint’s version of the phone and not T-Mobile’s. Then when Verizon announced their Galaxy Nexus, it was soon discovered that they would not support Google Wallet. Verizon claimed that Google Wallet “needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones” and they were continuing their commercial discussions with Google on the issue.
Thanks to a recent app update, Nexus users on AT&T and Verizon can now install Google Wallet directly from the Android Market. Many users previously obtained a hacked copy or side-loaded it onto their device, but now they can have the comfort of getting the latest official version from Google.
AT&T users with the Nexus S or GSM Galaxy Nexus just need to search for Galaxy Nexus and install it. Those devices are recognized as supported in the Market and it’s a 1-click isntall.
For Verizon owners of the Galaxy Nexus, the process takes a few extra steps. They need to visit the Android Market website from their browser and then trick their device into installing the official app. It might sound like a little much, but it only takes around one minute to complete.
- From your phone open the browser and head to http://market.android.com. (Tip: You may want to clear data and defaults on browser and Market before doing this.)
- Search for “Google Wallet.” (If your browser prompts you to open the Market, don’t. Just stay in the browser.)
- When the results come back, tap on the Google Wallet icon.
- Tap the “Install” button from within the browser and then sign into your Google account. (Again, this is all from the browser, not the Market app.)
- Once you have signed in, you should be redirected back to the Market page in the browser.
- Obviously, you will not have the option to install there since the VZW Nexus is not supported.
- Tap the back button until you are prompted for the Market or Browser again, this time choosing the Market.
- The Android Market should open to the Google Wallet page with an option to install.
If it doesn’t work right away, just sign out of the Android Market website from your browser and try the steps again. I tried this on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus and it worked on the 2nd try. Previously I had side-loaded an older version of Google Wallet, and the install updated it to the latest version with no problems.
We don’t have a Nexus S or GSM Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile to test this trick out, but hopefully it works on that device as well. If you happen to have one on hand, let us know if you were able to install Google Wallet from the Market.
At least AT&T is now allowing Google Wallet on some Android phones with NFC, and hopefully Verizon is close to reaching an agreement with Google.