Passbook-Enabled Apps Hit The App Store

Few hours back, Apple released iOS 6 – the latest version of iOS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. One of the major new features of iOS 6 is the new Passbook app.

The new Passbook app is essential a time and location aware app for storing digital boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more.

Now that iOS 6 has been released, a number of apps in the App Store have been updated to add support for the Passbook app. You can find out the Passbook-enabled apps by launching the Passbook app and tapping on the App Store button (it was initially giving a “Could not connect to App Store” error, but it seems to be resolved now).

Here are some apps that have been updated with Passbook support:

  • Major League Baseball (iTunes link) has added a Passbook delivery option for game ticket purchases.
  • TicketMaster (iTunes link) has added Passbook support for concert tickets for select venues.
  • Fandango (iTunes link) – the popular movie ticketing app you to send & store your movie tickt for participating theaters in Passbook
  • Lufthansa (iTunes link) and United Airlines (iTunes link) apps allow you to save your boarding pass to the Passbook app.
  • Walgreen’s (iTunes link) is making use of Passbook for its new rewards program.
  • Target (iTunes app) allows you to add coupons to the Passbook app. Thanks Marc0s21 for the tip!
  • Live Nation (iTunes link) also allows you to add concert tickets to Passbook. Thanks Katie for the tip!
If you come across an app that adds support for Passbook then let us know in the comments.
We’ve already seen airlines adding support for the Passbook app on their website by employing Apple’s new “.pkpass” mime type. The file type, which allows the mobile Safari web browser to recognize boarding passes are in Passbook format and allow users to add it to the Passbook app.
Companies will also be able to send passes for the Passbook app via email, and just like mobile Safari, the Mail app will recognize the file type and allow you to add the passes to the Passbook app.
Companies can also include “pass update” functionality, which will allow companies like Lufthansa to send a notification to its passengers informing them about gate changes etc.
The Next Web explains how the passes within Passbook will work:
The passes within Passbook are triggered with the kinds of barcodes that you would associate with a ‘QR’ code, although that name was carefully avoided by Apple. These 2D codes must be scanned by camera-based scanners. That means that any company which uses these more complex designs for boarding passes, coupons or anything else are already set, but those that don’t will likely have to upgrade scanning equipment.
Since the Passbook app is location and time enabled, the movie ticket will be automatically displayed on the lock screen when you reach the theatre.
We like the idea of having a common app for all our passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards etc. as it can be a pain to manage them, but for Passbook to be achieve that goal, Apple will have to convince a ton of companies to add support for the Passbook app.
Let us know what you think of the new Passbook app in iOS 6 in the comments.
Like this post? Share it!

  • sororitynerd

    Sephora to go has added passbook compatibility. Bonus, you get points for adding the Beauty Insider card to your passbook.

    • iPhoneHacks

      We don’t see any mention of Passbook support in the App Store for Sephora to go.

  • Marc0s21


    • iPhoneHacks

      Thanks, we’ve updated the post.

  • Vipered

    It’s a great idea, but damn, can you imagine how much worse it would be now if someone steals your iphone/ipad, especially in an airport.

    • Stan Bono

      i guess passbook is password protected, and boarding passes are linked to a person by name.

  • Hey

    Target too

  • katie

    Currently has the following apps available for passbook; fandango, live nation, lufthansa, mlb, sephora, target, ticketmaster, united , and walgreens.

    • iPhoneHacks

      Thanks Katie! We’ve updated the post.

  • Nathan

    I am still getting the “Cannot connect to iTunes Store” error message.

    • bt619

      saw this trick on the apple forums, worked for me: change your date/time to manual and set it a year ahead. next, try the app store again (looking for passbook apps). it will launch w/ all available passbook downloads. now, go back and set the date/time to automatic. fixed…

      • Emily Stacy

        This worked for me too, thank you bt619!

      • Giorgio

        I thought it was a joke, and I was like ” screw it I’ll try it” and it Worked. Thanks.

  • jeffrey

    Does my local grocery need an app for Passbook to recognize their loyalty card? Currently, I use Key Ring for all my loyalty cards.

  • butt3rs

    iPhoneHacks- Once you download one coupon and you want to see the updated list of apps that are becoming available how do you see that list on the app store since you cant get that link you originally used?

    • Brian Beavers

      Wondering the same as well. Downloaded a coupon from Target, and that link has disappeared.

      • Kathy Mo

        Same here!!

  • GuanGadget

    I still don’t get how this Passbook app works or it’s purpose!
    It just seems like a glorified ‘My Pictures’ folder, albeit with added security so that you can’t edit/create the images yourself.
    Would have preferred something like the Cydia ‘iFile’ app but restricted to say just an images folder within the media folder! Add to it some sort of key/encryption feature whereby scanning a QR code or clicking a link on the retailers website creates a subfolder for that retailer which can only be added to or modified by that retailer.
    To get industry wide acceptance, like the nano-sim, Apple should have either stuck with QR codes or created a universal standard for the ticket delivery/management and licensed it’s use.

  • TommyD2

    Nope. Still won’t connect

  • Kevin

    American Airlines is officially there now.

  • Airhead

    Belly has support for Passes. Though it seems cumbersome as it creates one for each business you patronize even though the Belly card number is same for all of them