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.
Passbook is cool, and one of the neat features of the service is the automatic refresh of information on your passes, letting you keep track of stuff like your Starbuck’s balance, or airline miles, or other kinds of cool stuff.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work automatically. This can be an issue if they include balances or loyalty points, right? Luckily you can refresh each of the passes in Passbook manually.
Apple’s Passbook app and system lets you use passes that contain time-sensitive or location-sensitive information. For example, you might have a pass that triggers when you enter a specific store, like Target. Or, you might have airplane tickets going through Passbook, if you use that specific airline’s iOS app.
The ideal here is that the passes show up on your lock screen, so you don’t have to launch an app. This doesn’t always work, however. What can you do when it doesn’t? I’m glad you asked.
Passbook may be one of the most underrated technologies on the iPhone. In theory, it lets you collect your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, and loyalty cards all in one place. In reality, it isn’t supported by too many retailers, many of whom already have their own system of handling these types of passes.
In addition, many iPhone users don’t know how to get apps that support Passbook, as the only way to find a special list of apps that are supported by the service is to open the Passbook app itself. If you’re one of those users, here’s how to get some great apps on your iPhone and carry a few less bits of paper and plastic ephemera around with you.
Australian airline Qantas has always been quick to embrace new technology. Back in October 2010, it became one of the first airlines to offer iPads as in-flight entertainment systems, and one of the first to embrace Passbook last November.
Today the company launched a new iPhone app that allows users to search and book flights, find accommodation and store digital boarding passes in Passbook.
UK low-cost airline Easyjet – referred to by some Brits as "sleazyjet" – has brought Passbook support to its mobile app. Now you can not only shop for flights with the app, you can check in and have the boarding pass sent to your iPhone’s Passbook app.
Apple has purchased a small startup called WiFiSLAM, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The two-year-old company specializes in indoor mapping, which is something Google has already been doing with Google Maps for some time.
Since Apple debuted its own mapping technology in iOS 6, it’s been working to bring its service up to par with Google Maps. WiFiSLAM’s expertise could very well be used to improve Apple Maps, and the acquisition also bodes well for another Apple service, Passbook.
Hubbl’s Passbook page (left), and Cult of Mac’s channel in the Hubbl app. You’ve added our feed, right?
If you’ve been catching our Daily Freebie posts, you’ve no doubt snagged some of the fantastic free apps out there — or been alert enough to snag an amazing deal when this or that killer app goes free for a short time. But there are other tools that help make sure you don’t miss out on all those great free apps. Hubbl is one of those tools and we’ve mentioned it in the past — but now it’s got a cool new trick that we’ve never seen before.
Major League Baseball announced that it will be tripling the number of stadiums that will start accepting tickets from Apple’s Passbook app, with thirteen new stadiums coming online to enable paperless, Passbook ticketing, an increase from four stadiums that could do so last season.
Teams that will begin to accept tickets through the Passbook app include the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs, with the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals continuing to accept paperless tickets this way. MLB mentioned that there are three more teams ready to go Passbook, but did not specify which ones.