iOS 6.1 with major Passbook partner features

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If you are looking forward to the next major update to iOS, you’ll be pleased to hear that we have hints one of core feature that could be ready for when Apple finally releases the iOS 6.1 official software update for supported devices, relating to the Passbook app which hasn’t reached its full potential yet.

At the moment, the exciting Passbook app is still in early stages, with only a few supported apps available on the App Store. If you open the App up now on iOS 6, you’ll be greeted with an intro from Apple, informing you that Passbook will give you the ability to store personal ticket and coupon information in one place, with Apple giving freedom to any developers willing to make a compatible app for Passbook.

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For example, if we head into the Passbook App Store section now, we see that there are already a few apps to try out, such as United Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa and also a few apps which help you to book hotels. So far, there isn’t too many options related to storing coupons depending on which country you live in, but we expect more developers to welcome Passbook with more open arms as the months progress.

Now, we have news that Passbook is set to gain another major improvement, with word that British Airways are currently in the process of putting an app together exclusively for Passbook. If you are a regular flyer with the company, you’ll probably know that there is already an iOS app available – but British Airways Passbook features should allow for much tighter integration and the ability to store your boarding pass ready for instant scanning.

Do you still believe that Passbook is a positive alternative to the lack of NFC based services that we see so often with Android devices? Just like Adobe Flash, Apple appears to be anti NFC at the moment, with consumers unable to make use of many popular eWallet services.

There is no timeline for the British Airways Passbook update yet, but it could find its way into Apple’s next iOS 6.1 update, which is still in beta testing at the moment. If you are an iOS 6 user, let us know if you have begun using the Passbook features yet or not. What other major iOS 6.1 features would you like to see as a priority?

  • Danny Dodge

    who cares about passbook?

    what about improving battery life (6.0 made battery great but 6.0.1 ruined that) and an updated interface – updating icons. more space in folders etc and not to mention sorting maps out… I’ve never known a person to care about passbook, but eberyone cares about these features.

    how about third party widgets in notification screen?

  • http://PassKit.com/ PassKit

    We are delighted by this news and something that is much needed; for convenience, customer engagement and the continued drive for going green.

    Indeed ANY business can tap into these benefits (and the Passbook mania) without having to first build an app or fighting for app real estate.

    We are getting thousands and thousands of emails a day asking us when such and such a business will issue Passbook passes; so there really will be a big advantage for being a first mover. And this space it definitely not just for the big guys like British Airways. In fact the small and medium companies are probably at a real advantage as the big guys want to defend the ‘app’ and infrastructure they have invested in already. The small and medium business can get their brand into an iPhone via Passbook; via an app that Apple have already developed and is now the native digital wallet for 200 million people – all desperate to use it.

    There are a few companies out there helping businesses get into Passbook, and with the PassKit online Pass Designer any business can create, distribute and manage passes even without any technical know-how or expensive infrastructure. You certainly don’t need to be British Airways to do this.

    One of the major inhibitors for some clients was the ‘redemption / scanning process’. Obviously with British Airways, Boarding Passes to be scanned in every airport across the world is a massive undertaking but it is getting much easier (as 2D Barcode scanners become more common place). Indeed we provide many companies with scanning solutions (either integrated into their POS or as a standalone scanning companion app), minimising any outlay or delay. All of these solutions are simply plug and play. The main thing business owners need to ‘worry’ about is making sure their staff are ready for the massive influx of new customers and revenue.

    Like I say, it’s great news to see British Airway jumping on board – it helps with Passbook acceptance and overall usefulness. It is a very positive sign for merchants worldwide; as more and more consumers demand these convenient digital passes, today is the time to get on board.