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Using the daemon and not a 3rd party pinging service, what is the best way to get notified of new payments? Do we need to constantly poll the server?

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AFAIK, there's no way in the standard client to add a callback. Seems like it would be a useful feature though. –  Nick ODell Feb 25 '13 at 17:21
    
Watch only addresses. On a mobile phone wallet. –  vi.su. Feb 25 '13 at 23:03
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1 Answer

Bitcoin New transactions can be discovered by polling using the listsinceblock API command with the Bitcoin.org client.

Beginning with v0.8.2 of the Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind client is -walletnotify option that can run a process when a transaction that affects the wallet is seen.

The BitsOfProof supernode will offer this as well I believe.

[Update: Thanks to Pelle's answer to a related question,

You can do this using BitcoinJ by implementing the PeerEventListener interface.

The OnTransaction will be called every time a new Transaction is broadcast out and received from a Peer ]

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Updated to refer to how -walletnotify will help with this. –  Stephen Gornick May 28 '13 at 14:31
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