Apple announced a new app called Passbook at the WWDC last week. It has the potential to turn the iPhone into a digital wallet. Here’s how enterprising businesses can get ahead of the curve and start creating “passes” for Passbook right now.
The description of Passbook from Apple’s iOS 6 preview page:
Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card. Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or coupon. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal.
When you first launch the Passbook beta in iOS 6 it’s rather disappointing. It doesn’t do anything besides display a splash screen. The app requires retailers and vendors to release passbook files (called “passes”, oddly enough), to enable the app’s functionality.
Some enterprising developers have created a website called PassSource that will allow you to create test passes for the Passbook app today. Here’s how.
- Point your iOS 6 device’s Safari browser to passsource.com
- Tap on Individual Passes
- Here you’ll see different types of test pass options. Select one of the them.
- You will now see several fields that can be edited. Leave everything as default and tap on the Create button at the bottom.
- Once the pass is created, you will see the preview of the pass. Tap on the Add button at the top right corner to add the pass to the Passbook app.
- Launch the Passbook app and you should see the test pass in the app. You can tap on the Settings option in the bottom right corner to set Notifications when there are updates to the pass or to show up in the lock screen based on time or location.
If you’re a business or individual interested in using Passbook when it’s released, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with passes ahead of time. Once created, the passes can be distributed by email or websites, and they can even be set to appear at certain times or locations.