In iOS 6, Apple introduced the Passbook App for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Passbook is compatible with iPhone 3gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod Touch. So, what is Passbook? Passbook is the digital, location and time aware manager for all your boarding passes, loyalty cards, retail coupons, movie tickets, and more. And, the list of compatible apps is growing all the time. For example, airlines like American Airlines and United have integrated their boarding passes with Passbook (See this article for more helpful travel apps: 5 Essential Travel Apps). If you have added an airline boarding pass to Passbook, then when you get to the airport, the boarding pass will automatically appear on your Lock Screen as a notification that you can swipe to instantly use. Another example is with a Starbucks card. I use this all the time. If you have the Starbucks app installed on your device, then you can add your payment methods to the Passbook App. You can also select your 10 most frequented Starbucks stores. Whenever you are near one of these Starbucks locations, a notification will pop up on your Lock Screen that you can swipe to instantly access your Starbucks payment method. The barrista will be able to scan your iPhone or iPod Touch screen to process the payment. You can also add location aware coupons to passbook for the next time you shop at Old Navy, Petsmart, Macy’s, Target, Sweet Tomatoes, and many more. As soon as you get to the store, the coupon will appear as a notification on your iDevice. So, here is how to set up passbook and how to use it on your iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. How to Set Up Passbook
Passbook comes preinstalled on your iOS device (iPhone and iPod Touch) if it is running iOS 6 or later. To set it up, locate and launch the Passbook app. You will be greeted with a welcome screen that gives a basic explanation of what Passbook can be used for. To get started, tap the button at the bottom of the Passbook welcome screen that says “Apps for Passbook”. This will take you to a special section of the App Store that includes apps that are compatible with Passbook. Test it out with the Starbucks app (Click here to get the app: Starbucks App) or the Target App (Click here to get the Target App). Open up one of these apps. For the Starbucks App, enter a Starbucks card as a payment option into the app. Then, tap on the Manage button near the bottom right of the screen. This will give you the option to add the payment method to Passbook by tapping the “Add Card to Passbook” button. Then, tap on the Stores button on the bottom right of the screen of the Starbucks app. Select up to 10 of your favorite Starbucks stores. Then, the next time you are visiting one of these stores, the notification will automatically appear on your iPhone or iPod Touch. For the Target app, create an account and then be sure you are logged in. Then tap on the little red target button on the bottom of the screen. Tap on “My Target” and you will see a “coupons” section. When you tap on the mobile coupons button you will be able to see all of the available coupons. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap on the Add to Passbook button. All of the available coupons will be added to the Passbook App ready for the next time you visit your local Target store.
2. How to Use Passbook
Passbook is both location and time aware. If you have a movie ticket through Fandango, or an airline boarding pass and you are nearing your show time or departure time, the Ticket or boarding pass will automatically appear on the Lock Screen. The same is true for if you arrive at the airport, or a store and you have an applicable Passbook coupon or boarding pass. These will pop up on the lock screen automatically, based on your location, ready for you to swipe and use.
Once an item has been added to Passbook, you can either delete it or manage settings by opening the Passbook App, tapping on the Passbook item you want to edit, and then tapping on the little “i” that appears at the bottom right of every Passbook item. If you are worried about the Passbook item security, you can turn off the toggle “Show on Lock Screen”. If you turn this off, you will have to manually open up Passbook and find the item in order to use it at the appropriate time and place. To delete a Passbook item, simply tap on the trash can icon at the top left of the screen. Your Passbook item will then go through a digital shredder.
That’s a quick overview of Passbook and how to set it up, use it and get the most out of it. If you have more questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I will get an answer back to you.