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The Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus famously shipped without Google Wallet. This is ostensibly because Verizon is coming out with their own mobile payment system and didn't want a competing product baked into the phone OS.

So much for a pure Google Android experience.

How can I get Google Wallet on my device? No rooting solutions, please. I am okay with sideloading the app from a trustworthy source if that's possible.

Once installed, will I be able to get updates from the Play Store? What other things won't work quite right?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Grab this .apk file from the XDA forums and sideload it like you would any other app. The instructions state that it will work on unrooted devices, and CNET actually ran an article detailing this a little while back. The original XDA thread is here, the link you need is the one under the QR code (the "APK method").

This particular method will evidently only work if you live in the US and have Android v4.0.2 or later installed, but that should cover any typical VZW Galaxy Nexus at this point.

As far as I'm aware, you will not be able to get updates from the Play Store if you sideload like this, but that is the only caveat I've personally encountered thus far on my VZW Galaxy Nexus. I used the free $10 prepaid balance at McDonald's without any issue.


A few additional musings after doing some experimentation: after sideloading the .apk above I was not able to update Wallet from the Play Store app on my phone. However, if I logged into the web store and visited the page for Wallet, it listed my Galaxy Nexus as compatible. Hitting Install on the web page allowed me to push the updated version to my phone successfully, despite the fact that I could not do it from my phone.

If you're itching to try out the newly added ability to add your credit card to Wallet, you could try the above to get yourself updated to the newest version. Alternatively, if you consider me a "trusted source" (I'm trustworthy, I swear) you can get a copy from my Dropbox account. I simply pulled the updated .apk file from my device after I updated through the Play Store, so I can safely say this version has not been tampered with by any third parties.

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That's interesting that you could update from the web. –  Al E. Aug 1 '12 at 21:12
    
@AlEverett: Haven't a clue why, either. I'm rooted, but I just sideloaded Wallet the "normal" way, without doing anything special that required root. I'd be a little curious to know if it works on an unrooted device as well. –  eldarerathis Aug 1 '12 at 21:15
    
I've got it sideloaded from the original information you gave, but it isn't showing up yet on the Play Store website for me to update. It's likely just waiting for some synchronization. If I don't see it later I'll download the newer version. –  Al E. Aug 3 '12 at 16:05
    
Well, the rooting must be key to a better experience. I've installed the latest version from your link, but the app does not appear in the Play Store app on the device or in the Play Store website under my installed apps. Even if I get to the app page directly it doesn't show as installed and I can neither upgrade or install from there. So, while I've got it sideloaded it's going to be a manual process to update in the future. And, of course, I haven't found a place to use it yet; it's probably not worth it. –  Al E. Aug 7 '12 at 18:39
    
@AlEverett: There's only something like 3 places around me that take it (none of which I frequently go to) so I get the feeling you wouldn't be missing much. The deals/coupons are usually pretty obscure places, too. –  eldarerathis Aug 7 '12 at 18:44
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