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Apple's Passbook

Apple’s Passbook was released in September 2012 and it’s one app that you probably should try given its practical nature and easy to use features. And if you’re an iPhone lover, you’ll embrace the practicality of this app on your phones helping you save time and money by being organised.

How it works

  • The concept

Apple’s Passbook should not be confused with Google wallet which uses NFC technology for the virtual wallet to work. Instead, it is an app that aggregates all your files such as loyalty cards, coupons, and all those bits and pieces of paper in one folder on your iPhone and even iPod. Using the GPS on the device, the Passbook will alert you if there are relevant coupons and cards you should use when in specific vicinity or location. Even if you’re not planning on buying or doing something that day, it’s always useful to be reminded that you have a gift card for a store nearby or that you could collect points on your loyalty card at the theatre. .

  • Advantages

The app is easy to use because it is part of the iOS software. To store stuff in it, you have to activate it and make sure that your brand or loyalty card is Passbook enabled. It helps save money and time reminding you that there are coupons in your file ready for use. Redeeming entitlements or collecting points is easy by swiping the barcode in your Passbook eliminating the need to carry so many cards and documents. You can even store your boarding passes, e-tickets, and hotel vouchers in your Passbook.

  • Limitations

Apple’s Passbook was just recently rolled out, so there are not many participating retailers. In the US, there are only 23 major brands in Passbook, but others are expected to join the bandwagon. For a while, the iOS 6 Passbook was exclusively available in the US. But, it has reached the other side of the Atlantic and here in the UK, there are several stores signed up to Passbook. Virgin is one of the first companies to join the family along with Tesco, Odeon (for tickets) and Star Bucks. And, don't worry if you’re using other airlines because Lufthansa, Delta, and American Airlines are on the list. Granted that the uptake is rather slow, it is expected that more retailers will be joining soon. iPhone owners who are using the app find themselves relying on it to get things done.

A promising app

True, the app needs fixes and updates to keep it working seamlessly. For instance, users complain Passbook can't be activated with a simple swipe while in a lock mode even though the alert says so. Otherwise, this is really a convenient app to put some order in your wallets and purses with all those stacks of papers and cards. Try Apple’s Passbook and who knows you might get so hooked to it, you’ll be using it more often.

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