Apple’s iOS 6 software update brought in a promising new app called Passbook, but from what we’ve gathered so far, most people either don’t know what it is, or aren’t bothered by its presence on their home screen.
Passbook is an app that acts as a digital wallet, keeping digital versions of loyalty cards, boarding passes, discount vouchers and eTickets in one simple place. It’s also time and location based, so it can present your vouchers and tickets in the lockscreen when you’re near the venue or the event start time is nearing.
Unfortunately it’s seen a rather slow start, with few apps making use of it so far. To make matters worse for us Brits, most of the apps were US-only for a while, but now things are starting to look up.
While there’s not a ton of apps and places that support Passbook just yet, there are a few cool things you can do with it. Here’s what we’ve found so far.
Some of our key home airlines – Virgin Atlantic, British Airways – are yet to integrate their apps and electronic boarding passes into Passbook. However, if you choose to fly with other big name airlines you could be in with a chance of using Passbook for your boarding passes. So far Lufthansa, United Airlines and American Airlines are signed up, so if you book a flight with them you’ll have the option to add your boarding pass digitally to the Passbook app. When it comes to boarding just show the attendant your phone and voila.
Update: Virgin Atlantic is the first UK airline to go Passbook, offering iPhone 5 owners the chance to add their flight ticket to the Passbook app when checking in online. This can be done on any PC, Mac or tablet, and should result in a digital boarding pass arriving in your Passbook wallet.
Few retailers have cottoned on to using Passbook just yet, but we’re hoping they will very soon as its perfect for collating discounts and money off coupons. At the moment Odeon cinemas are offering a 30% off voucher for showings between Sunday and Thursday from now until October 18th.
Head over to promo.odeon.co.uk/film 30 on your iPhone and hit the Passbook button to add the voucher to the app.
Additionally, restaurant chain Harvester is offering a £5 off voucher when you spend £30 exclusively for iOS 6 Passbook users. Visit tinyurl.com/harvesterpb using Safari on your iPhone and hit the Add to Passbook option.
iHotel is the first accommodation booking app to utilise Passbook, and it’s actually pretty nifty, not to mention it works in the UK. Search for and book hotels based on your location or a search, book them and then download your bookings to Passbook to be stored with your other vouchers and tickets – nice and easy.
Eventbrite is a free app that lets you search for events happening around you based on your location. You can sign up to free and paid for events, with everything from computer classes to wine tasting sessions to theatre productions on offer. Once paid for or subscribed to, your ticket can be downloaded and added to Passbook so it can be shown upon entry to your event and scanned as a QR code. It’s likely that gig tickets from companies such as Ticketmaster and Live Nation will be addable to Passbook in the near future as well.
Starbucks has finally updated its iOS app to include Passbook support, which means you’ll be able to add your Starbucks loyalty card to Passbook and simply show it at the counter when buying your tasty warm beverage.
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