Since iOS 6 was announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June, most buzz about the new mobile operating system has been about Apple Maps, followed by features like the panoramic camera, Facebook integration, and new phone call features like ‘Do Not Disturb,’ ‘Remind Me Later,’ and ‘Reply with Message.’
Since iOS became publicly available in September, I’ve continually been surprised at the lack of attention being paid to Passbook. Sure, big companies like Target, American Airlines, and Starbucks are using them. But even those Passes seem basic and I’ve heard several stories about them not working with mobile apps the way they should.
For now, I agree with The Next Web’s Lauren Hockenson, believing that the problem with Passbook as it is lies in the integration (or lack thereof) into other mobile marketing efforts, such as apps.
As far as I’m aware, there still relatively few marketers using Passbook, considering how easy it can be to create passes. So I figured a guide on the blog would be appropriate. Let’s get started…
What is Passbook?
Passbook is a pre-installed app on iPhones and iPod Touch devices with iOS 6. If you are updating a device to iOS 6 instead of buying a new device, the app will be there when the upgrade is complete. It’s a native app, meaning along with apps like the calendar, calculator, and contacts, it can’t be deleted.
It is a digital wallet of sorts, but instead of holding credit card information, it holds Passes.
Passes are a file type that works on iOS 6 devices as well as OS X 10.8.2. This means that if customers are running the proper version of OS X, they can use iCloud to add Passes to your Passbook from your desktop or laptop. Passes can also be saved to your Passbook through links sent through email, SMS, or a mobile app.