Passbook promises to be major selling point for iOS 6

ios6 passbook Passbook promises to be major selling point for iOS 6

One of the new features of iOS 6 revealed by Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week is Passbook, an app that stores and intelligently displays tickets and passes, and one that shows particular promise.

One of the new features of iOS 6 revealed by Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week is Passbook, an app that stores and intelligently displays tickets and passes, and one that shows particular promise.

 
Passbook is an incredibly simple idea. It takes all your tickets, passes, and loyalty cards and keeps them in a single, easily-accessible location, almost as if you had them all stored in your physical wallet. Scott Forstall, SVP of iOS at Apple, called it “the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.”
 
This simplicity is a major selling point, but even more appealing is the functionality, which automates some of the process based on your location. For example, when you enter a Starbucks café your loyalty card will be immediately accessible from the lock screen (providing, of course, you have location tracking enabled). You can then just swipe across the icon to open and display it, just as you would with the unlock bar to access the rest of the phone.
 
passbook starbucks Passbook promises to be major selling point for iOS 6
 
The app will even display the balance on the card and will update immediately when a payment has been made, removing the need to constantly ask employees how much you have left on your card.
 
Another feature that was highlighted is the fact that the passes are “live” and thus constantly updated. This does not sound that important until the example of plane tickets is given, where a gate change automatically updates the ticket and notifies the user, saving considerable time and headache at the airport.
 
Cards and passes can, of course, be deleted from the app, with Forstall demonstrating a little visual fun as the card is shredded on the screen before you. Not an essential feature, of course, but the attention to detail is nice.
 
ios6 passbook Passbook promises to be major selling point for iOS 6
 
The success of Passbook is almost guaranteed, because it takes what already exists – digital passes – and improves the concept by addressing key concerns like trying to find a ticket or forgetting to use your loyalty card. It does not try to introduce a full-on virtual wallet, where most stores still rely on hard cash or credit cards, but employs the existing digital passes of stores that have already invested in smartphone scanners that can read the barcodes on shiny, reflective touchscreens. 
 
It is this taking of what is currently available and improving it that has been considered a hallmark of Apple in recent years, and we see it again in the form of Passbook.