Google Hands Free payment app ready for public testing on Android and iOS



Last year, Google teased its new Hands Free payment service that’d let users pay for goods just by telling the cashier “I’ll pay with Google.” Now the service is going live in a limited trial.

Google has launched Hands Free apps for both Android and iOS. The app uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services, and other sensors to detect when you’re at a store that supports Hands Free. When you are, you can tell the cashier “I’ll pay with Google,” and they’ll then confirm your identity using your initials and the photo on your Hands Free profile.

Google is also testing another identification method that uses an in-store camera to confirm your identity even faster. Google says that images and data captured by these cameras are deleted immediately and that they’re not accessible to the store, nor are they sent to Google’s servers.


Unfortunately, Hands Free is currently in testing only in the San Francisco Bay Area. The stores that are currently participating in the testing include McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and some localbusinesses. There’s no word on when or if Google will expand its Hands Free testing.

If you’re in the SF Bay Area and want to give Hands Free a try, the app is available on both Android and iOS. It supports devices on Android 4.2 and up as well as iPhone models 4s and higher. Google is offering a $5 discount to be used toward your first Hands Free purchase.

Hands Free looks like a nifty way to pay for things. While mobile payment services like Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay do simplify things by just requiring you to tap your phone to a terminal, Hands Free takes it a step further by letting you just use your voice. There are still questions about how well Hands Free will work, including how it affects your phone’s battery and how quickly your info can be pulled up by the cashier, but that’s what this pilot program is for.

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