Lawsuit against Apple’s Passbook is Lodsys redux

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 2, 2012

Apple is again in the sights of a company with patents and an itchy trigger finger. The iPhone’s Passbook feature, which allows consumers to store tickets, loyalty cards, coupons and such digitally, is the target of San Diego-based Ameranth. The company is seeking triple damages, claiming in the lawsuit that the Cupertino, Calif. technology giant willfully infringed on Ameranth patents on wireless mobile payments.

The company has already sued the likes of Hilton, Marriott and Ticketmaster and gotten 14 other companies to ink licensing pacts. TechCrunch spoke to the CEO of one of the companies who’d rather pay than suffer some long drawn-out legal fight. The interview is enough to send cold shivers up Apple developers who survived the 2011 patent uproar from LodsysRead More

 

Taking the American Express Passbook pass for a spin

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 27, 2012

Want a quick and easy way to access recent purchases and account balances made with your American Express card? If you’re running iOS 6, then you can now do so with Passbook.

First of all, just to clear up any misconceptions, you can’t actually purchase goods via Amex using Passbook — that functionality doesn’t yet exist. What you can do, though, is sync your Amex card with Passbook to access the convenient features mentioned above — balances, recent transactions, and the like.

As someone who uses Amex exclusively for almost every purchase, large and small, I’ve been anxious to try out Amex’s Passbook offering ever since it was first announced that they were on board. Here’s what I found…

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That didn’t take long: Passbook for Android lands

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2012

The brand new Passbook app in iOS 6 is garnering traction in both tech press and the real world with the likes of Starbucks, Target, theme park Accesso, airlines Delta, American Airlines, Virgin Australia and others all announcing they have or are implementing Passbook support.

As Passbook simply organizes digital coupons, tickets, loyalty cards and other items wrapped inside Apple’s new .pkpass file type, developer Attido Mobile was able to create a handy Passbook client for Android devices. It has been available for some time, is called PassWallet, does pretty much everything Apple’s app is capable of and could easily be gone if Apple has any say over it… Read More

 

Starbucks to update its iOS app for Passbook by month’s end

By Oliver Haslam on Sep 21, 2012

Been wondering when you would be able to take your shiny new iPhone into a Starbucks and use Passbook to pay for your grande skinny vanilla latte? Well, wonder no more.

We’ve just spied a Twitter update from the company itself in which we learn that an iOS 6 compatible version of the app, complete with Passbook support, will be with us by the end of the month!

What’s more, Starbucks even added a little bit of geekery to proceedings by signing off with a spot of binary code, just for the lolz… Read More

 

Fix for “Cannot connect to iTunes Store” error in iOS 6

By Cody Lee on Sep 20, 2012

Since updating my iPhone 4S to iOS 6, I’ve been having problems with the App Store. Specifically, when I was in the Passbook application and clicked the App Store portal, I was met with the following error: “Cannot connect to iTunes Store.”

As it turns out, I’m not the only one having this problem. A thread has started in Apple’s support forums regarding the issue, and it has already garnered 5,000 views. Luckily, it appears that some folks have managed to come up with a fix… Read More

 

Apple Maps and Passbook could push 2012 App Store revenue to $4.9 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 20, 2012

An interesting unintended consequence of a downgrade that is Apple Maps in iOS 6: people will grow to rely on transit apps and other third-party software to help get back some of the Google Maps functionality (until Google releases a widely rumored standalone iOS Google Maps app).

And with Passbook debuting in iOS 6, we should increasingly download and use shopping programs (like the Target app) that produce Passbook-compatible coupons, invoices, loyalty points, tickets and other digital items.

As a result of the new Passbook functionality and lacking Maps experience in iOS 6, cumulative App Store revenue for the calendar year 2012 could top nearly five billion dollars, a research firm has forecast… Read More

 

Target updates its iPhone app to support Passbook

By Cody Lee on Sep 20, 2012

Did you update to iOS 6 yesterday? Well if you did, and you’re looking for ways to try out the new Passbook application, Target just added support for the payment platform.

The national retailer updated its iOS app yesterday with support for the iPhone 5’s larger display, iOS 6, and the new ability to push store coupons to the Passbook app… Read More

 

Here’s how Passbook works in iOS 6

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 19, 2012

If you’ve been using iOS 6 beta, they you’re probably pretty familiar with the default Passbook screen that prompts you to open the App Store. Prior to iOS 6’s release just a few hours ago, the App Store page wouldn’t load, or at the very most remained blank.

Today, all of that changes. If you open the App Store link from the Passbook app, you’ll be presented with a introductory list of apps that currently support the fledgeling venture. Read More

 

Passbook apps now showing up in App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 19, 2012

iOS 6 went live today and with it a new feature called Passbook, basically a central repository for coupons, airplane tickets, loyalty cards and other types of digital coupons. Now, Passbook can detect and automatically import these digital items from your email messages and on the web sites you visit.

All web developers need to do is implement support for Apple’s new “.pkpass” mime type, like airlines did. Supporting the new feature, Apple added a new dedicated App Store section that lists third-party programs which support Passbook… Read More

 

Theme parks also seen working on Passbook support

By Cody Lee on Sep 10, 2012

Passbook hasn’t gone public yet, but that hasn’t stopped several companies from pledging their support. Most of the major airlines already appear to be on board with the service, and now it looks like theme parks are in as well.

Accesso, one of the largest providers of theme park and attraction tickets in North America, has just announced that it will be one of the first travel industry suppliers to adapt its ticketing platform to work with PassbookRead More

 

Delta and American Airlines also working on Passbook support

By Cody Lee on Sep 8, 2012

After months of waiting, we should finally get to see Passbook in action this month. Apple unveiled the app, which stores digital gift cards, event tickets and boarding passes, during its WWDC event.

As cool as the idea of Passbook is, it will only be successful if it can garner support from major businesses. But if the enthusiasm of the airlines is any indication, that won’t be a problem… Read More

 

Airlines reportedly scramble to support iOS 6 Passbook mobile boarding passes

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 7, 2012

Some airlines are already implementing support for mobile boarding passes via the brand new Passbook app in iOS 6, a newspaper report has it. Specifically, a Virgin Australia traveller says the system recognized the digital boarding pass from Safari, putting up a prompt asking him to save the digital ticket to the iOS 6 Passbook app. If Virgin Australia is already implementing support for Apple’s new “.pkpass” mime type, chances are that other airlines are also doing so, especially with the next Wednesday’s iPhone 5 announcement and the subsequent public release of iOS 6 approaching fast…

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iOS 6 Passbook shopping gets simulated in real-world

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 9, 2012

iOS 6 brings a new app called Passbook that Apple argues isn’t a direct payment product (yet). Instead, the program lets you collect and organize discount coupons, gift cards and some such. Patents, however, reveal that Apple is actively thinking about leveraging NFC technology to turn Passbook into a comprehensive mobile shopping solution, referred to as the iWallet.

You could create fake coupons to play around with in the Passbook app, but I’d bet my shirt that you’d still be scratching your head as to how exactly Passbook is supposed to work in real-life. A nice two-minute clip embedded below will help clear up the confusion by showing some interesting possibilities for Passbook through real-life examples… Read More

 

Apple granted iWallet shopping app patent

By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2012

Apple has been granted an interesting new patent today that covers a personal shopping application. The app provides retail and pricing information based on user location and scanned barcodes.

The patent was published this morning by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. And if it’s any indication of what Apple’s working on, it could mean we’re in for some nice surprises  on the iWallet front… Read More

 

New Bluetooth Sharing menu and other changes in iOS 6 beta 4

By Cody Lee on Aug 6, 2012

We’ve been combing through iOS 6 beta 4, which Apple released to developers this morning, for any differences in the update, and so far, we’ve managed to spot a handful of them.

In addition to the removal of the native YouTube application, we’ve also discovered a new Bluetooth Sharing option in the Privacy settings, as well as some other minor changes… Read More

 

Apple scores iTravel patent featuring NFC and Passbook integration

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 10, 2012

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had a busy morning, publishing as much as 23 newly granted patents for Apple, one of them concerning NFC technology rumored to debut on the next iPhone and Passbook, a new iOS 6 application that Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller insists isn’t a direct payment solution. The iTravel patent, as it’s been dubbed, covers travel services such as a boarding pass and express check-in, amongst other stuff… Read More

 

On Apple’s plans for a mobile payment system

By Cody Lee on Jul 7, 2012

There have been a few rumors bouncing around the Apple community for the last two years that just won’t die out. Among them is the iPhone-embedded, iTunes-based mobile payment system. Pundits believe that Apple, and its 400 million iTunes accounts, has the ability to kickstart the struggling mobile payment industry.

Apple itself added fuel to the fire last month when it unveiled its new Passbook application. It acts like a digital wallet of sorts, allowing users to store event tickets, gift cards, and even creditcards on their iOS devices. But it’s still not the end-all mobile payment solution we were all expecting. At least not yet anyway… Read More

 

How to enable Passbook in iOS 6

By Cody Lee on Jun 26, 2012

One of the more intriguing iOS 6 features that Apple announced at WWDC was the new Passbook application. The app is essentially Apple’s first go at a digital wallet.

But unfortunately, Passbook is broken in the developer beta — it’s just a splash screen. So there’s no way to play with it. That is, unless you follow these few easy steps… Read More

 

Schiller on app discovery, Passbook not being a direct payment product

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 14, 2012

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of all marketing at Apple, talked to The Wall Street Journal yesterday about the app ecosystem, how the upcoming iOS 6 mobile operating system helps third-party developers get better exposure for their software and why Apple’s brand new app called Passbook is not meant to become a full-blown mobile payment solution… Read More

 

Apple to Google: f**k you

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2012

Apple really stick it to Google by supplanting Google Maps in iOS 6 with in-house mapping service, didn’t it? But more than anything, yesterday’s WWDC keynote has proven that Apple is just as merciless without Steve Jobs.

As both tech giants fight tooth and nail for mindshare, Cupertino is now adamant to go thermonuclear on everything Google, not just Maps.

The iPhone maker demonstrated its incredible agility and willingness to fight Google on multiple dimensions yesterday. To that extent, iOS 6 could be viewed as the biggest step yet in the de-Googlification of iOS.

Here’s why… Read More