Whether you have a brand new iPhone 5 or a barely breathing iPhone 4, at some point you’ll likely choose to upgrade to iOS 6, an operating system that adds several new features to the world’s best smartphone. One of those features is PassBook, an app that is likely to revolutionize the way we do…well…almost everything.
Passbook has only been available for a matter of days, but we’re already finding it pretty handy,” NBC News wrote. “Its usefulness will only improve as more retailers and businesses design their apps to make use of it. Before long, we’ll all hopefully have a lot more room in our wallets because of fewer cards and papers we’ll need to worry about losing thanks to this handy app.”
If you opened PassBook and are still unsure what to do with it, you aren’t alone.
Initially, the app is useless, and until you really need it, it will probably continue to do so. Only a small number of companies have signed up to let you use the app at this point but that is likely to change and when it does, knowing how to use it may help.
Immediately after the update, PassBook will likely be the only new difference you see. It’s a colorful app, displaying a blue, yellow, and green ticket fanned out. When you open it, you’ll be bombarded with even more color, thanks to a screen that offers to take you to see your boarding passes, tickets, store cards, or coupons.
To use PassBook, you’ll have to add apps. You’ll see the button at the bottom of your screen that will take you to the App Store to add apps to PassBook. I’ll go in order to show you how you can begin transforming your wallet into a phone:
Currently American Airlines and United Airlines are the only two companies that support PassBook. Inside the app, you’ll store your boarding passes, allowing you to go from home to the airport without carting some ticket around. As you enter the airport, the boarding pass will automatically load, ready for you to use. If your flight time or gate location should change, PassBook will alert you to that, as well.
Download the Fandango app for PassBook and you’ll have your movie tickets safely stored on your phone. Once at the theater, the box office worker will be able to scan your screen and get you into the theater without you ever having to take out your phone. Be aware that Fandango charges a “convenience fee” that ranges from $.75-$2.00, but Fandango users have been paying this fee for a while.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster have also signed up for participation, providing tickets to concerts and other special events. You’ll have your tickets with you, safe and sound, when you get to the location and you won’t have to worry about keeping up with them while you’re enjoying the event.
Starbucks is a little late to go live with the app but once it’s active, customers will be able to keep store cards on their iPhone, buying coffee without having to dig through a bunch of cards to find it. Walgreens allows customers to add its loyalty card into the app, which is a welcome change to those of us tired of carrying a keychain full of those things around, just to save a few bucks a month. Hopefully my grocery store will soon do the same.
Target is the frontline innovator in the coupon arena, providing coupons directly on the app that can be scanned at the register. You’ll have to set up an account once you’ve downloaded the Target app and in your account you’ll have the coupons targeted to your specific stores. Once you’re set up, you’ll simply need to go to My Target, then choose Coupons and Mobile Coupons.
While PassBook is still new, chances are once you download the app, you’ll begin to see more companies joining in. Since much of it is free, there’s no reason not to begin adding the services that apply to you.