Passbook is a brand new app in iOS 6 designed to manage movie tickets, vouchers and loyalty cards. Its usefulness in Australia will be limited at first, but the fact that it's available here at all should mean that we'll starting seeing local businesses making the most of it. Here's how to get it working for you.
How to Add, View and Use Passes
When you update to iOS 6, you'll see a new icon on your home screen for Passbook. Tap on that to open your list of passes. You won't have any when you open the app for the first time, but you'll be able to buy some in the App Store. If you come across anything that is compatible with Passbook — say, while you're browsing the web with mobile Safari — you'll be prompted to add it to Passbook.
Each card in Passbook is designed to show you essential information. Airline tickets have your flight number, your gate and the departure time. Gift cards show your current balance, vouchers show the expiration date, and nearly all passes have a scannable barcode so you don't need to worry about bringing along your paper tickets. To delete a card, press the info button in the lower right-hand corner and tap the trash can icon.
Get Notifications for Passes As You Need Them
When you bring up a pass, you can tap the info button in the lower right-hand corner to edit its preferences. Each card has two settings: First up is Automatic Updates, which allows Passbook to update your gift card balance, airline gate changes and other information. The second setting is Show On Lock Screen, which will give you notifications when it's time to use that card. If it's an airline or movie ticket, it will send you a notification based on the time. If it's a gift card or voucher, it will send you a notification based on your location. You can edit Passbook's notification settings under Settings > Notifications as you can with any other app. Some passes may even integrate with the Reminders and Calendar apps as well.
What Services Support Passbook?
Apple hasn't released a detailed list of services yet, but we have seen a few examples of Passbook integration, including Virgin Australia, Eventbrite and Apple's own retail stores. We suspect that a lot of services will be US-centric at first, but hopefully we'll start to see Passbook being integrated by Australian businesses. If you find a new supporting service or you've already tried using one, let us know how you go in the comments.