By Jonathan Charles | Sep 14, 2012 10:57 AM EDT
Passbook is one of the two new apps Apple developed for iOS 6, along with Maps. Passbook for iOS 6 allows users to compile cards and boarding passes into a single app, storing information for use via Near Field Communication (NFC). Apple's iOS design chief Scott Forstall announced during the company's Wednesday event that it will offer Delta, Sheraton, and Ticketmaster support.
"One of the really cool things about Passbook is it integrates with the lock screen. So if I have my phone locked and in my pocket and in my pocket and I get to the airport, my board pass already appears on the lock screen, I slide across, it brings up my boarding pass, I scan it and get on the plane. It's that simple," Forstall said during the event.
Passbook sounds similar to Google Now, introducing in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The latter tracks user location in real-time, becoming familiar with use patterns over time. When a plane enters a new state/country, the weather will automatically change. Similarly if a plane's terminal changes, Google Now will reflect that.
Whether the app gets widespread support remains to be seen. NFC support seems to be slowly rolling out, particularly in the UK outside of London. However, the app represents an interesting focus on bringing cards and boarding passes together digitally rather than having to rely on physical copies and second-checking bags before leaving for holidays. Passports are turning digital by holding the passport up to a screen that scans the photo, though the service is unreliable.
New passes for Passbook will be available for download when iOS 6 launches on Sept. 19. Passbook was previously announced during the iOS 6 event during June this year. The iOS 6 Gold Master release is available for developers now.
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