Add Unsupported Passes, Cards, And Tickets To Passbook [iOS Tips]

PassSource Passbook

Yeah, we get it: Passbook is awesome. It’s also woefully under-populated with only a handful or three of official apps.

But look, Passbook files aren’t even that special. They’re just specially formatted computer files with a .pkpass extension. What’s neat about that is that anyone can create one of these files, and then send them to you in email, or have you download them from the web. That way, you can take advantage of Passbook system without being limited to the official Passbook apps on your iPhone.

Here’s how.

First up, go check out Ticketfly, an events ticketing service that will send you an email with a .pkpass file attached. When you get the email, be sure to use Mail.app on your iPhone, and open the attachment there. Furthermore, be sure to use Passbook to open the pass, as unlocking your screen will make this ticket disappear, perhaps freaking you out and wasting valuable beer-buying time.

Another unofficial way to generate rewards cards into Passbook that aren’t already officially supported by Apple or with an official app is PassSource. Using your iPhone, go to PassSource.com and tap on the Create button. Choose the type of card you want to add, including Store gift cards, AAA cards, Best Buy Gift Cards, and more. I chose to make a Costco card.

Tap on the type of card you’re creating, and enter the information in the fields below, like the store name, address, and membership numbers. Then hit the Create button at the bottom. The Passbook item will slide up onto the iPhone screen, and you then can click the blue Add button in the upper right, sending the card right to your Passbook app. Looks good, right? I have yet to take it to Costco to make sure it works, but what fun if it does!

  • Gene

    Not quite sure why you would post such a thing without checking first to see if it works.

  • HBTonly

    My Costco checks PHOTO on the card. They will not accept Costco ID without a photo. Also, passsource generates the wrong type of barcode for Costco. You could PROBABLY make it correct from scratch on the site, but…

    I’ve been trying the site, and it’s very confusing to make a card ‘from scratch’, and still a bit confusing to make it from one of the presets. A Lot of unexplained fields…

    If you are still going to make “wrong”cards, I would go with LemonWallet so you get photos of the original card stored in that app and partially appearing in passbook.

    However, the best thing to do is to harass your favorite retailers to just ADD passbook functionality to all their apps. They ALL have apps already…

  • PassKit

    Any business can quickly and easily create and issue Passbook Pass using the Pass Designer at http://create.passkit.com

  • ahberry

    With the announcement by Apple at WWWDC that Passbook on iOS 7 will now have scanning capabilities there will be an easier way for Passbook users to get Passes from stores offering them. Also there are a handful of 3rd party developers that can create Passes. Here is an article that I found that compares the top Pass developers for Passbook.

    http://www.squidoo.com/comparison-of-passbook-pass-services#module162621190

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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