Google Beta Mobile Payment Hack Reveals Lack of Adequate Usability Testing

16 February 2012
Ben Logan

Author: Ben Logan

Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

Google is once again under fire from industry experts for releasing beta products and services that have not had adequate usability testing.

This past week, a worrying exploit hack was discovered which made it possible to give criminals access to a person’s Google Wallet mobile payment app on the Android platform.

Since this flaw was fairly simple to fix, it begs the question as to why such a potentially damaging vulnerability was not noticed by Google before the service was released.

It seems that the giant isn’t too bothered about thorough beta testing to ensure no major flaws make it through to public release. And while a Google beta that lots of people have access to is fine when the product is something like Google Voice, releasing their Google Wallet payment system without extreme security and usability testing is a serious mistake to make.

Even the Android platform was released too soon – the first Android phones got terrible press for poor battery life and substantial bugs. Users ended up with an unfinished beta product that severely disappointed at the outset.

Following from this latest alarming Google Wallet hack, the writing is on the wall – Google should take a little more time testing their beta versions before releasing them to the general public.

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