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Need understanding of Android and how it interfaces with "Square".


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Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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08-Jul-2012, 12:59 AM #1
Need understanding of Android and how it interfaces with "Square".
I've used a Palm OS phone for several years now and I have finally run across a reason to change to Android and I know nothing about Android.

I'm looking at this device and it says it works with Google Android 2.2 and higher. I know nothing about Android. Are all Android phones Google Android?

What does it mean that the phone needs to be GPS enabled? What cost or monthly fees (if any) are involved with that?

At this point, I don't even know enough to ask another intelligent question so your thoughts are appreciated.
Frank4d's Avatar
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08-Jul-2012, 10:00 AM #2
"Android phones" are named as such because they run the Android operating system, developed by a group called the Open Handset Alliance, which is led by Google. Most smartphones that run Android are GPS enabled, which is a navigation technology that allows the phone to know where it is located (not sure why this would be important for the Square device, but if they say so it must be).

GPS itself is free, but costs for a smartphone and monthly fees vary all over the place. If you already have a cell phone that isn't compatible, you might be able to upgrade it for free or not much. The required data plan will increase your monthly bill $20-30. Who is you Palm OS service provider?
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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08-Jul-2012, 01:49 PM #3
TMobole
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08-Jul-2012, 02:42 PM #4
You need an Android smartphone and a monthly data plan. Go to T-Mobile's website, and look at their device and plan offerings. Yes, you'll pay an additional monthly fee for data. Every smartphone user on every carrier does.

Do you run a business where you need to take credit card payments away from a phone line? Do you have the volume of sales that justifies this investment?
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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08-Jul-2012, 04:58 PM #5
Quote:
You need an Android smartphone and a monthly data plan
I have a friend who has an Android phone and uses the Square card reader but has no data plan. I guess the transactions are transmitted through normal voice service somehow. This doesn't surprise me as merchants who use credit card processing, do it on a normal land-line phone. Also, the "Square" requirements page makes no mention of a data plan.
Quote:
Do you have the volume of sales that justifies this investment?
The Square card reader is free. There is no monthly fee and no monthly minimum, only 2.75% per transaction so the investment would be the change-over to the Android phone and the cost of the programs I have to install to replace the ones I currently use on my Palm phone.
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08-Jul-2012, 10:57 PM #6
I highly doubt the data is transmitted over voice. I don't know how/where you intended to find an Android smartphone that does not require you to purchase a data plan. A smartphone is not a dial-up analog phone.

Talk to your friend. Ask him who is carrier is and what is total cell phone plan is.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 12:33 AM #7
Obviously, my friend has at least some small data service but has never mentioned it. Here's what Square says about data:
Quote:
What type of data plan do I need to use the Square app?
Square uses very small amounts of data to process payments. Each transaction typically uses less than 10kb. If your customer provides a signature, no more than 50kb will be used for the transaction. If you add a picture to the transaction, no more than 3mb will be used. If you are using a device primarily for accepting payments with Square, it would not be necessary to sign up for more than the basic plan your carrier offers. Please keep in mind that any data usage outside of the Square app (ie. web browsing, email, apps) may require you to sign up for a larger data plan.
So, it looks like I would need to add the minimum data plan at $10 per month to my current voice service. That would give me only 200 Megs and would limit me to only twenty-thousand transactions per month.
Frank4d's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 07:53 AM #8
My wife and daughter have Samsung Galaxy S II 4G phones. Very nice phone, and Square lists it on their website as compatible.
DoubleHelix's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 10:29 AM #9
If you're going to go with only a 200MB data plan, you need to be very careful to disable all data synchronization services and applications as much as possible. You could very easily go over that with background "chatter".

Very few people invest in a nice, big-screen smartphone and have the discipline to never use the data plan for anything. You can certainly try it that way, but make sure to monitor your data usage closely.
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