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Monday December 19, 2011 10:39 am

Hack your Galaxy Nexus to run Google Wallet

Be it Verizon's fault or Google's, owners of the recently released Galaxy Nexus smartphone can't tap into the device's built-in Near Field Communication feature for use with Google Wallet. It's just not going to happen.

Not going to happen, that is, unless you perform a few lengthy customizations on your smartphone. A crafty workaround has been found that allows Galaxy Nexus owners to use Google Wallet just like all of their friends that own Sprint's Nexus S 4G smartphones. But the hack comes with a few catches: Namely, you're going to hack off both Verizon and Google if you try it.

How's that? Well, the process for enabling Google Wallet on your Galaxy Nexus demands that you unlock the device's bootloader and root the smartphone. And once you've done that, there goes your warranty through Verizon should your smartphone encounter any errors (or catastrophic free-falls) in your future.

And that's just the first half. Google's own terms of service prohibit using Google Wallet, "on a mobile device or Android operating system that has been modified or customized in any way." There's no indication as to what could happen to you or your account should you proceed with the hack for your Galaxy Nexus.

If you're willing to accept the hack's terms, you first start your journey toward turning your smartphone into a touch-based payment system by unlocking the device's bootloader. Droid-Life has a great step-by-step instruction guide for doing so but, in short, you'll need to first set up the Android SDK, reboot the device into its bootloader, type in a text command to unlock it, agree (and kiss your warranty goodbye), and sit back while your smartphone performs a factory reset.

From there, you'll need to root your Galaxy Nexus – not as easy of a process as, say, firing up SuperOneClick and hitting a button, but one that's sure to simplify as more enthusiasts tinker around with their new Galaxy Nexus smartphones.

Finally, you'll want to download ROM Manager, use the app's "Flash Custom Recovery" option, and follow these steps to finalize the process of adding Google Wallet onto your smartphone.

If that's all just too complicated to deal with in words, we've found a step-by-step video that should give you a bit more clarity as you go about hacking bits and pieces of your smartphone's OS. Have faith: You'll be using your Galaxy Nexus like a credit card before you know it!

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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