Android Pay set for imminent UK launch as Pret A Manger plugs Google cell bills 1

Famous speedy meals chain Pret A Manger now accepts Android Pay, in keeping with tags on fee terminals in one of its London stores, suggesting an impending launch of the cellular payment service within the UK.

Android Pay set for imminent UK launch as Pret A Manger plugs Google cell bills

The Android Pay device, Google’s 2d attempt to encourage customers to apply their smartphones for contactless payments, was brought to the United States closing September.

In March, Google introduced Android Pay in the UK within months but did not give an exact release date.
According to employees at this Pret keep, the “We now receive Android Pay” tags arrived overnight. This morning, they were displayed in shops, suggesting Android Pay will be imminently available to UK customers. It alerts a chief enhancement to the cellular bills industry, as Android smartphones account for greater than 1/2 of cell telephones offered inside the UK.

The era works similarly to Apple Pay, permitting customers to load their Visa and MasterCard credit score or debit card details directly onto a cellphone with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) microchip.

Smartphone-wielding consumers will then be able to pay at stores geared up with a contactless fee terminal, with their identity verified by their telephone’s fingerprint reader. Stores to be given encompasses Pret, Boots, Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Waitrose.

You can also use Android Pay on Transport for London offerings, including the Tube and buses.

According to Google: “Android Pay will support MasterCard and Visa credit score and debit cards from a number of the UK’s foremost economic institutions — inclusive of Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide Building Society — with new banks being brought all the time.”

As properly as opposition from Apple Pay, which has taken an early lead in cell bills, Android Pay may even face competition from Samsung, the most important producer of Android devices.

Samsung Pay is because of launch in Britain this 12 months too. The UK is a battleground for mobile bills because of the excessive take-up of card payments and the extensive availability of contactless terminals.

Millions of Android phones might be tracked with an ultrasonic spying device. Researchers have observed that hundreds of Android apps might be covertly tracking users through inaudible sounds emitted through nearby devices. Researchers found a technology that shall we gadgets to communicate with each other for monitoring purposes: ultrasonic tones on 234 Android apps.

Televisions, billboards, websites, and shops can emit excessive frequency sounds, which cannot be heard through humans but are picked up by the apps. This signals whether a person has engaged with an advert by watching it or visited a shop, and how long for.
Apps featuring the generation include the ones from McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme. The researchers warned that Major groups may be using it to track clients’ location and behavior, on and rancid their mobile gadgets, without them understanding. “An adversary can reveal a user’s local TV viewing behavior, track their visited locations, and deduce their other devices,” said the researchers. “They can advantage an in-depth, complete consumer profile with an everyday mobile utility and the tool’s microphone.”

The monitoring technique has spiked in recognition these days, in step with the researchers. Two years ago, simply five apps inside Google Play saved used the generation. Now, it’s far allegedly found in 234. As well as monitoring customers’ conduct, the beacon generation can also ship targeted adverts. Given that the tool can join location and behavior with the device, it could also pick out anonymous customers with those of Bitcoin and Tor.

The Braunschweig University of Technology researchers warned that hundreds of thousands of users could be under surveillance without knowing once they located that a pattern of five of the 234 apps had been downloaded up to eleven million times.

Most apps do not alert customers that they’re monitoring them. All they require to comply with users is permission to enter the device’s microphone.

“The person just needs to put in a regular cellular application. This is paying attention to ultrasonic alerts thru the microphone inside the history,” said the researchers. “Once the user has hooked up these packages on their cellphone, they neither understand while the microphone is activated nor are they capable of seeing what facts is sent to corporation servers.”

Silverpush, the corporation that created the listening device, denied that its technology is nonetheless getting used. It stopped assisting the software program in 2015 following a privacy outcry.

“We respect patron privateness and would now not want to build our business basis in which privateness becomes questionable,” Hitesh Chawla, founder of Silverpush, told Ars Technica. “Even while we had been staying, our software program changed into not present in more than 10 to 12 apps. So there’s no danger that our presence in 234 apps is possible. “Every time a brand new handset receives activated with our software program, we get a ping on our server. We have now not received any activation for six months.”

Google stated its privacy policy calls for apps to disclose how they acquire, use, and proportion client facts. McDonald’s said it no longer uses the UK technology for marketing functions. Krispy Kreme has been contacted for a remark.