Your Android phone or Wear OS watch could soon lose an essential everyday feature

It might be time to upgrade your OG smartwatch and phone

Google Wallet on Pixel phone
(Image credit: Future / Chris Hall)
Quick Summary

If your Android phone runs a version older than 9 (Pie) or your Wear OS watch is on version 1, you won't be able to use Google Wallet after 10 June 2024 due to software requirement changes.

Upgrading to a newer device is recommended for better security and features.

Modern devices are all about the software and services that they offer and there could be a change coming down the line for those with Android phones and Wear OS watches that could see one of the best features removed. That might make your old devices less useful.

Details have revealed – reported by 9to5Google – that Google is going to change the minimum requirements for the Wallet app. Wallet is the app that will allow you to make mobile payments or have quick access to tickets, loyalty cards and so on.

The change will see the minimum OS version increased to Android 9 or higher on your phone, while you'll need Wear OS 2.x or higher on your watch. The change will come into effect on 10 June and at that point, if your device doesn't have that version of the software, you'll no longer be able to use Wallet.

This is only likely to be a problem for those with old devices that haven't been updated for some time. Whether there are any wearables on Wear OS 1 still in circulation is questionable, as with the arrival of Wear OS 3 in 2022 most of these devices were practically obsolete.

So, if you're still rocking one of the original Wear OS devices, it might be worth taking a look at the great smartwatches you might choose instead.

For Android phone users, losing mobile payments or just the Wallet to keep all your cards and tickets in could be a major blow. However, Android 9 Pie landed in 2018 and if you have a device that's older than that, you might also want to consider upgrading to one of our best affordable phones.

That's not just because you're about to lose Wallet support, but your phone probably hasn't had a security update for about five years, not to mention all the features you could be missing out on. You might not be able to stretch to a new Pixel 8a or Samsung Galaxy A55, but perhaps the Nothing Phone (2a) is the device for you.

Google does occasionally have to change the requirements for particular apps and services and this change isn't a huge surprise - some might lose that Wallet feature, but most, we suspect, will already have newer devices.

Chris Hall

Chris has been writing about consumer tech for over 15 years. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Pocket-lint, he's covered just about every product launched, witnessed the birth of Android, the evolution of 5G, and the drive towards electric cars. You name it and Chris has written about it, driven it or reviewed it. Now working as a freelance technology expert, Chris' experience sees him covering all aspects of smartphones, smart homes and anything else connected. Chris has been published in titles as diverse as Computer Active and Autocar, and regularly appears on BBC News, BBC Radio, Sky, Monocle and Times Radio. He was once even on The Apprentice... but we don't talk about that.