Friday, May 27, 2011

JR East Suica for Android from July 23

The Suica fare payment system is coming for phones from the three major carriers that support osaifu-keitai mobile payments. And it is UGLY. At least I think so, though some may consider a smashable watermelon that takes up two columns of desktop real estate to be "cute." (The below image is of the two states of the widget, smashed and unsmashed.)

Technically, this is just an "image," not as in 画像 but as in a "mental image of what it might look like." It could actually be something cool, like a widget styled after a physical suica card. (Note that the app appears to be alpha, i.e. "ver. 4a")

This PDF and a FAQ on the mobile Suica site (both Japanese) have more details.
  • On Saturday 7/23, service will begin at 4:00 for Docomo, 12:00 for AU, and 16:00 for Softbank. (No mention of Emobile)
  • Support for commuter passes of various types
  • Purchase of express tickets "green car" premium seat tickets
  • Net shopping payments
  • View Card autocharge
  • A fugly widget
  • Express reservations (EX-IC) in cooperation with JR Tokai (3-day advance Shinkansen reservation discount service)
  • Suica charge from a bank account (details not yet available)

(See this post for a list of Docomo phones that have support). In late June, JR East will release more details regarding specific phone models that are officially supported. I don't know why the carrier matters, by the way. It would seem to me that if 1) the hardware supports it, 2) you have a mobile suica account, and 3) installed the app, it should work. Apparently this is not the case, though.

No news on a pasmo app for Tokyo subways and private lines. A feature phone mobile pasmo app does not exist.


  1. Now I thought I found the perfect phone in the Galaxy S2 and it doesn't support mobile payments. Damn it.

  2. For now at least, you'll have to stick with domestic makers for osaifu keitai.

  3. Heh, that's not an "image", but an actual image of the home screen widget for the mobile Suica app.