Since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and its Edge variant, I have noticed that Brazilians are paying a very high price for their Android smartphones without even having all the functions promised by Google and OEMs. Android Pay, the Google device store, Project Fi and others are examples of services that exist in other countries, optimize the experience of using the Android platform, but are still only promises in Brazil. Check out some of the Android services you end up paying for, but you may never count on them.
1. Android Pay
Android Pay was announced during Google IO 2015 as a new mobile payment solution and brings advanced integration between card emulators, internet and NFC connectivity (Near Field Communication) to offer a form of payment mobile simpler and safer for smartphone users. Android Pay supports Android 4.4. or higher, but it should start to be implemented in Canada and some Western European markets. Once again we have a mobile payment service that is not expected to arrive in the country for the next 2 years.
In a statement to the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the innovation director of the payment operator Ciela, Luiz Enrique Didier, affirms that most of the company’s machines use NFC (1.4 million of the total of 2 million), which «is missing is Google talking to banks. » However, during a Samsung event for the Brazilian press at MWC 2015, it was said that Samsung Pay, a similar service that competes with Android Pay, should start crawling in the country at least 2 years from now.
In contact with Google Brazil I was informed that there is still no forecast for launching the tool in the country. Therefore, although Android M brings the option as native to the system, including a biometric reading feature here, it is possible that Brazilian users will never use the service as we know it today.
2. Device store
Since November 2014, the Brazilian Google Play Store has already accepted national credit and debit cards as a form of payment, as well as a gift certificate. This is an indication that the store is in the process of nationalization. But then why is it still not possible to buy mobile devices in the country from the Google store? According to one of our sources within Google, the answer is domestic manufacturing and high tax rates. Although the Nexus 6 is an exception device within Google’s idea that Nexus smartphones should be accessible, you can only buy devices on the line through Google’s partner manufacturer. In Brazil, only Samsung (Galaxy X in Brazil) and LG (Nexus 4 and Nexus 5) made their Nexus devices available to users.
In addition to the Nexus line, it is only possible to buy smartwatches running on Android Wear in official stores and partners of manufacturers such as Sony, Motorola and LG, for example. Nexus Player and Android TV are also features that so far can only be purchased in the country by import and not through the Google Play Store. Not to mention that Android One, a project that has been very successful in emerging markets, may never be announced in Brazil because of the question of Google’s logistics in the country.
As a consequence of this, Brazilians do not have the possibility of having an Android device running an operating system without modifications by the manufacturer at more affordable prices buying directly from the Google store.
3. Project Fi
- Project Fi: Google’s mobile operator is announced
From the Google lab[x] stunning projects like Google Glass, Project Loon, Google’s autonomous car and many others come out. Among these, the highlight of 2015 seems to be Project Fi, and offers a mobile phone service of the search giant, primarily in the USA.
Through Project Fi the user will have access to the best mobile network that is available, switching between Wi-Fi points and antennas of service partners, such as T-Mobile and Sprint. According to Google, it will be possible to start an activity on WiFi, such as a connection, and transfer the signal to an available 4G network without dropping the connection or wasted time. Project Fi hosts the user’s phone number in the cloud, allowing the user’s voice or data plans to be used on any device logged on with the same Google account. Like any operator, Project Fi also markets voice plans.
Project Fi arrives to improve the signal quality for data and voice plans, and still aims to reduce the costs of connections and navigation. This project could be excellent for Brazilian users, however, just like the other services mentioned above, there is no forecast of a day to be implemented in the country.
So, which of these features of the Android platform do you miss most in Brazil right now? What other Google services do you think will not reach us?