Surprise Android phone update brings Android 13 feature early

Google Wallet mobile app on Android smartphone
(Image credit: / Prathankarnpap)

One of the big selling points of Android 13 is that it'll bring a new look to Google Pay, essentially rebranding it to Google Wallet as a place you can store all your payment information and also cards, passes, tickets and more (Google Pay does have these features but it's not laid out well for most of them).

Despite the fact that Android 13 is meant to come at the end of the year, Google has jumped the gun, and is now rolling out Google Wallet to loads of Android phones already.

According to a report by 9to5Google, Android users are starting to notice that when they upgrade their Google Pay app, it's actually becoming Google Wallet already. No use waiting for the end of the year, then!

The update roll-out will take a few days, so if you don't see it now, just have patience. Our app hasn't been updated yet, so you're not alone.

This isn't the case in the US or Singapore, where Wallet isn't replacing Pay (instead they'll sit alongside each other), but in other places like the UK, Australia and Canada, expect to see Google Pay turn into Wallet before too long.

Even though Wallet is rolling out over the coming days, some of its big new features - like the ability to store driving licenses or hotel keys - are expected to only arrive at some point in 2023.

Analysis: a quieter Android 13 launch

Now that Android 13's key feature has landed early, there's not really that much to look forward to for the update.

Google Wallet was our most anticipated change (even though it's a medium upgrade at best), as Fast Pair for quicker Bluetooth pairing, Earthquake alert improvements and tweaks to Material You are all incredibly minor.

It's not a huge surprise that Android 13 is a small upgrade over Android 12, since that was quite a big change, but it does mean that we're not exactly beside ourselves with anticipation for October when Android 13 should start to roll out.

It's really starting to sound like iOS 16 will be the more interesting update this year.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.