Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Google Wallet APK to Official Release Update Theory

Warning: The following article is only a theory. It has not been tested and is only based on my personal experience and logic. You follow the information given here at your own risk. The author of the article can not be held responsible for any damages or problems you get into.

Today, I have a theory on how you can update your Google Wallet APK to the real release of Google Wallet on Galaxy Nexus phones when it comes out. Please take not that there are no official releases of the Google Wallet app on Galaxy Nexus phones as of 1/3/2012 (day of the post). I know a lot of you are probably edgy and asking the question, should I install the APK or wait for the official release. Well, yes you are right to worry, I do too, but today I have a theory on how to correctly update your phone when that day comes.

In order to know how to do this, you have to know what the Secure Element is and how it works. The Secure Element is a physically isolated chip (CPU and memory) on your phone's circuit board that is in charge of all credit card encryption related functions. There is no way to read or write into the Secure Element (with out some fancy tool the repair facilities should have). Also all data on the Secure Element is encrypted, and I doubt anyone (including Google) has the keys to decrypt the programming. So when you first run Google Wallet, it should have negotiated keys with the Secure Element. So now, when you upgrade, most likely the keys will be lost, and that is probably why most people get the "Secure Element is not responding message". So how do you upgrade it?

So like Google said, if you are to donate your phone or to give it to someone else, but you already set up a credit card inside, you can reset the Wallet app. I think what this reset does is tell the app, "Hey, I want all information deleted, and I want to uninstall this app." So now, the app will probably send some signal to the Secure Element telling it to delete all data inside and reset the keys, then the system processes will be shut down and then the app is deleted. So now, you just reset everything on the Secure Element, after you upgrade, you can simply reconfigure the whole thing and new keys will be generated.

Please remember this is only a theory based on my own experience with computers. It has not been tested. If you disagree, have comments, or have questions, just leave me a comment below. :)

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