Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Feature Imperfect

The new Galaxy Nexus S is one of those straight-from-the-source-code Android phones. You know, the ones that show off what Android could be if OEMs spent less time deciding whether to bundle NASCAR or Blockbuster apps (before deciding to bundle both) on your phone. Or if they spent less time trying to lock down the bootloader to prevent you from loading custom ROMs to delete those apps. Android’s “open” in the sense that the OEMs get to screw it up as badly as they like before handing it to a consumer.

So, Google likes to sell demo phones that shame their OEM buddies once in a while. The brand new Galaxy Nexus S comes with the brand new Android, and Google’s showing off a ton of new features. One of them is Google Wallet, which lets users pay for things in a store by tapping their phone on the cash register. It’s definitely one of those “oh my god we live in Jetsons time” moments. I bet we’re all doing it in like five years, but for the time being, it’s just crazy futuristic. I’m looking forward to this feature making its way into other phones.

But it probably won’t, because Verizon just blocked it from working on their network. This might not have anything to do with Verizon’s competing and identical feature, called ISIS. Bloomberg News says

the move comes amid intensifying competition between services that let consumers pay for goods with mobile phones. Verizon Wireless and partners AT&T; Inc. and T-Mobile USA plan to invest more than $100 million in a joint venture called Isis, which competes with the Google service, people with knowledge of the project said in August.

Boy, I bet Google’s really glad they’ve got such a firm understanding of the value of Net Neutrality with Verizon. Just imagine the sorts of troubling things that Verizon could do if they were allowed to run about unchecked!