At Mobile World Congress earlier today, Samsung unveiled its new Android app called Samsung Wallet, which basically is its copy of Apple’s Passbook app that was introduced in iOS 6.
Samsung Wallet lets users store and manage event tickets, boarding passes, membership cards in a centralised place, much like Passbook and also delivers location based alerts, in case the user arrives at a place where the “pass” is to be used.
Samsung has a Wallet API in place for third-party developers to hook into the app, and provide users with real-time updates and alerts. Strangely, despite having a number of NFC enabled devices, Samsung chose to go with bar codes as the mode to integrate with stores and terminals, citing the additional infrastructure required to support NFC. Maybe this is why Apple’s taking its time in adding an NFC chip to the iPhone.
Samsung already has partners like Walgreens, Belly, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Lufthansa, who will be on board with the company’s Wallet platform once the app is publicly released. As of now it’s available as a preview to developers. Wallet would very likely be one of the key features to be demoed during Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S IV a few weeks later.
(From L to R) Samsung Wallet, Passbook, Microsoft Wallet and Google Wallet icons
Wallet’s similarities to Passbook aren’t just restricted to functionality: the look of the app and the icon are clearly “inspired” by Passbook as well, as you can see in the video:
It’s worth noting that Apple’s Passbook UI wasn’t original either, but it’s still surprising that Samsung would choose to go with the same look as an Apple app, especially after being found guilty of the same thing in court a few months ago and told to pay a billion dollars for it.
Via: The Verge