Whats Google wallet you ask? Well, if you're an avid reader of androidheadlines you probably aren't asking that question. But for those who are, Google wallet is an app that essentially lets you pay for things at supported retailers just by tapping your NFC (near field communications) enabled phone. It's a pretty cool functionality that has pioneered with the nexus s but really took off with the release of the Galaxy nexus. Well it has just been recently brought to our attention that doing a factory reset on your NFC enabled device, could upset the use of Google wallet by spoiling the secure element that is intended to protect your NFC chip from being tampered with. Let's all take a moment and lend our thoughts to the poor souls that learned this the hard way. It has been said that some users have been master resetting their devices, only to find out that when they next went to use the Google wallet service, they would encounter a message that read "Secure element not responding: The secure element has stopped responding. Please contact Google wallet support."
This is quite a frustrating thing to encounter if you're a person who relies solely on the use of wallet on a day-to-day basis. All people using compatible device should be aware of this so they don't run into this problem themselves. The list of compatible phones so far that carry the NFC chips for use with the wallet service are as follows.
- Galaxy Nexus
- Nexus S
- LG Viper
- LG Optimus Elite
- HTC EVO 4G LTE
The issue with the NFC chip that Google is saying is a security feature to protect the chip from tampering, in the event that your information might get compromised, is not limited to any one device like the GALAXY nexus. Any person with an NFC enabled device using Google wallet could potentially run into this problem if they do not take the proper steps to avoid this giant misstep. Yes, you read correctly. There is a way to prevent this issue if you run into problems and need to perform a factory reset on your phone. Apparently, before you act hastily (and might I note, don't do that. It only ends in sadness) and go about resetting your phone quicker than you can blink, enter your Google wallet app and navigate to "menu" then "settings" and inside you will see an option to "Reset Google Wallet". Amazingly, this is all it takes to keep you from going crazy from wallet withdrawal. Rest peacefully, the next time you hit the store and forget your "actual wallet", (You know that thing us Neanderthals use to pay for things. It holds cash and credit cards and the like.) you will still be able to buy those items you need.
This is clearly a huge FAIL on someone's part. Google nor the manufacturers seem to have mentioned or advertised enough that people could run into this colossal issue if they didn't take that one easy step. The funny thing is, you could be told it's your fault. That is exactly what an HTC EVO 4G LTE user was told when he called to complain. The problem started because he had to master reset his device, due to unrelated issues with htc sense acting up. So he did just what he was instructed and performed a factory reset. The sad thing is that no one told him how to prevent Google wallet from going belly up on him or that the bug was even a problem. So when he called Google to complain, he was greeted by being told it was his fault, needed warranty coverage, and that if he were so inclined to divvy up the cost of repair, he could absolutely get the problem fixed. Google wallet users be dammed! If you do not reset Google wallet before you reset your device, you too could encounter the same issues.
The lesson to be learned here is that you should take every possible precaution when doing anything like resetting a device. Even more so, do a double take when planning to buy a previously owned device that carry's the Google wallet function. You wouldn't want to purchase something that broken before you got your hands on it.