One feature of the rarely-discussed Wallet app found in Windows Phone 8 is called “Deals”, which lets you find local deals via services like Amazon Local, Living Social, Sweet Jack, and Yelp.
However, it takes this to the next level by integrating the deals with the Maps app.
If you search for a store in the Maps app that has a current deal, you’ll automatically be able to see their available deals! For example, I searched for Supercuts to grab their phone number; while I was looking at their store info I noticed they had a $5 off coupon. This was the first time I ever saw a deal pop up in a map result!
Currently, these “deals” are so scarce that this integration is nearly useless. It’s rare that you’ll happen to search for a store that has an active deal. Nevertheless, if Microsoft continues to obtain more sources for local deals, this feature might become truly useful. I was definitely happy to save $5 thanks to this feature!
Vodafone Australia is piloting an Android app which will allow the Galaxy S 3 to pay using NFC at 100,000 Visa payWave NFC payment terminals in Australia.
They have also announced they will be bringing the service to Windows Phone said Vodafone general manager, Thomas Roets, to Computerworld Australia.
There are no plans to make the app available on the Apple iPhone because the device does not include NFC capability, Roets said. Vodafone considered NFC-equipped sleeves for the iPhone but decided it was too costly. Such a case is expensive to build and would have had to be resized for different form factors, he said.
Roets estimated that 80 per cent of Vodafoneâ€™s new devices in store will support SmartPass.
While SmartPass is exclusive to Vodafone, Visa wants to release similar apps for other telcos, Visa country manager Vipin Kalra said. â€œOur goal is that we bring the solution to as many consumers as possible,â€ Kalra said.
SmartPass is â€œa step towards a true digital wallet,â€ Kalra said. â€œA digital wallet sits in the cloud, whereas [SmartPass] is an app sitting on a SIM,â€ he said. â€œEventually what we want to do is bring face-to-face and online purchases to one device.â€ Visa hopes to get to that point sometime next year, he said.
Windows phone 8 comes with NFC support and a built-in Wallet service from the start, but will likely see its first implementation on Orange in France, who has always been a proponent of the technology.
Read more at ComputerWorld Australia here.
FidMe is a free mobile app, allowing users to gather all their loyalty cards and stampcards into their mobile phone. In store you can then use your phone as a card that scanners will read, or as a stampcard, you will scan a code to add a stamp.Â Â The French company has more than 1.5 million users today and growing and FidMe todayÂ gather over 3000 loyalty programs and thousands shops all over the world.
FidMe has now updated their app to support Windows Phone 8, including support for Windows Phone 8-specific features.
With this update, FidMe become the first Windows Phone 8 application enable with the Microsoft Wallet in France, and one of the first in the world. Â Windows Phone 8 users can now transfer their Â loyalty cards, coupons and deals into Â the Microsoft Wallet.
FidMe on Windows Phone 8 also supports:
- Â An NFC app with compatible devices, including Lumia 920
- New animated tiles for your cards,
- Details of your points, stampsâ€¦ on the live tiles,
- New pin to start features,
- Add your cards, coupons and gifts to your Wallet,
- Get stamps directly from your camera with lens link,
- High resolution graphics.
Read more about it atÂ Fidme.com here.
Microsoftâ€™s John Skovron, group program manager for Windows Phone, presented Windows Phone 8 at NFC World Congress at Nice recently and explained a few features of the new OS.
Skovron demonstrated a number of features of WP8′s NFC capabilities, including peer-to-peer sharing, which Microsoft is calling "Tap+Send" and NFC-mediated Bluetooth pairing.
He also shared a photo between two Windows Phones over Bluetooth using the same NFC-mediated Bluetooth pairing and used this P2P mode to share a tic-tac-toe app between two devices.
He also spoke about the Windows Phone 8 wallet app, which he called the Wallet Hub, which would contain membership, loyalty and payment cards as well as deals, offers, tickets and passes.
The wallet has its own PIN and cards that can be used with the wallet will be called "Fast Cards". Users will be able to choose whether a particular card can be used only for mcommerce payments or for NFC payments or for both and can select whether cards will always be available or only when the wallet is active. Adding a new card will also prompt the user about other services from the card issuer by suggesting, for instance, that they download the issuer’s app as well as the card.
The wallet’s deals options are also integrated with Bing search so that users can both store and find deals â€” Bing will highlight places with deals in search results.
A key feature of the wallet will also be the use of "Wallet Agents". These allow developers to dynamically update wallet items and can be used to show the available balance on a particular card on the main wallet screen or to highlight a special offer or deal.
He noted that Wallet and NFC were two independent elements, which only overlapped for secure NFC payments.
"NFC is an introducing technology," Skovron explained,saying devices will include both NFC and a wallet application and that both have their separate uses.
The goal is "a seamless user experience," he added.
"Through extensibility, wallet items come alive with dynamic data and functionality," says Skovron. "Developers can choose how much information they want to give in the wallet and how much they want to drive users to the app itself."
He said the first NFC mobile wallet service is due to be run by Orange in France and Microsoft is also working with other business partners.
Read more at NFCWorld here.
As can be seen from the screen shot, developers will be able to add a logo, notes, barcodes and other features.
Unfortunately the API will not allow developers to add co-ordinates, which I think means Microsoft missed a trick which would have allowed local deals to be automatically surfaced.
Video by Alex Blount
Windows Phone 8 will have a new hub called Wallet, which integrates allÂ your bank and coupon apps and manages your payments with a secure PIN.
With your Wallet, you can instantly view balances of all your bank accounts, mileage on airplane memberships, and more. It’s like Pageonce, but integrated natively and doesn’t require you giving your information to another company since the hub works directly with the official apps of each company.
All appsÂ will have the capability to plug into Wallet, and can display info like balance, account info, transactions, and more. You can click each app to get detailed information, and then launch the actual app if you still need more.
And the Wallet also supports Deals, so that apps like Groupon can display coupons. These deals also support an API for displaying QR or barcodes, so you don’t even have to launch the app to use the coupons. Once Wells Fargo’s app comes out for WP8, I’m definitely dropping Pageonce and replacing it with Wallet
Did you have a chance to look at Password Jinni before? Are you among all of those users, who have already recognized Password Jinni as the snappier and most responsive app of its kind on the marketplace? Well, take a second look again, because the latest update stretched the boundaries even further. Ah, you havenâ€™t heard yet â€“ Password Jinni is easy to use but flexible and advanced private data manager.
Do you like Password Jinniâ€™s new white dress? Butâ€¦ you donâ€™t want to change the whole phone theme. Nor a problem anymore: select one of the new theme settings: auto, inverted, light and dark. Now enjoy the light tones independently from the device theme settings.
This is not the whole story. In the latest update you will find a new and cool feature. Now you will be able to save and view a long and multi-line text for every text or address field in a record. With just a single tap you access the extra lines in the address fields. Neat, huh?
No doubt we hate bugs (just like you). Thatâ€™s why version 1.4 mercilessly kills some of them. You will not be irritated by error messages while unmasking fields and showing popups anymore. If you are very persistent and still manage to find some new ones â€“ do not hesitate to send them directly to the developers. They will moan about the extra work, but you will be glad to find out how supportive they actually are. Thatâ€™s important, isnâ€™t it?
We will not bore you again with a long bullet-list of features, but if you still interested to find out more, go to Marketplace and give Password Jinni a look. If you really go that far, well probably you are brave enough to give the app a try. You will enjoy 30-day free trial without functional limitation (except backup). Bet you cannot discover a more flexible and enjoyable data manager app on any platform, nor only WP7.