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Beta for Google mobile driver’s license app is out

Beta for Google mobile driver’s license app is out

A beta test of Google’s wallet app supporting some mobile U.S. driver’s licenses is out.

The beta was announced by Google’s support unit, but the idea was teased at least as far back as November 2017, when Digital ID vendor Yoti put a license app on Google’s Play marketplace.

In 2019, mobility software news publication XDA said plans for Google’s Identity Credential APIs became public.

Now, according to trade publication Phone Arena, a beta program has been launched, although it is not known which states are participating. States including Wyoming, Maryland, Idaho and Colorado and the District of Columbia have been exploring the idea since at least March 2019. Each of them was at the time working with digital security company Gemalto.

The update is part of Play services version 48.22. The wallet app has been integrated with Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2 devices at the same time, according to Phone Arena.

The publication has pointed out a hitch in the new feature. There are security implications of having to open a phone to show a license in the wallet. The same is true, however, if a license can be seen by just picking up a phone.

In May, according to XDA, Google executives said their Pay app would be the wallet app outside the United States, Singapore and India.

Apple is out front on this trend compared to many of its competitors, and even sees mobile driver’s licenses as a way of achieving Microsoft-like ubiquity.

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