While Starbucks was fairly quick to roll out iPhone 5 and Passbook support in the U.S., their Canadian and UK apps languished in 2:3, non-Passbook purgatory... until today. Sort of. Starbucks has begun to update internationally, and they're ready to single-pull their way to iPhone-purchased specialty beverages both north of the border and across the pond. But still not in 16:9 iPhone format.
Passbook is helping Major League Baseball transition away from traditional physical tickets to digital ones. In in an initial test run with four teams in the final two weeks of the season, Passbook was used for 12% of electronic tickets, which account for over two thirds of all ticket sales. While the convenience of Passbook has delighted fans, it also seems to have struck a chord with the league as a whole. Though Passbook itself doesn’t hold personal information, the apps that feed Passbook, in this case, the MLB iPhone app, do. Using the app, teams and parks can more specifically target advertising, or make specific offers to loyal fans.
Starbucks has finally updated their iPhone app to offer support for Passbook, the new Apple app introduced in iOS 6. Starbucks had originally claimed that this update was coming at the end of September so, although late, it's great that it's finally here. However, it's disappointing that although this update does support iOS 6 and Passbook, it does not support the iPhone 5's larger screen.
I joked today that Passbook was this year's Newsstand. I meant that on several levels. First, it's an app that people seem to be struggling to use. Second, it's an app that depends on being fed content that's out of Apple's control. Third, because of those two factors, it's an app that could have done with some better hand-holding and partnership placements at launch.
If you have updated to iOS 6 and were hoping to find a raft of apps that used Apple’s new Passbook app then you were in for a bit of a disappointment. As ever with apps that rely on third parties to populate them, it takes time when they are first released. Thankfully, Starbucks is going to have its app updated to support passbook by the end of this month, the news comes from Starbucks official Twitter account.
If you don't have time to read our definitive iOS 6 review but you still want to see all the highlights -- Maps, Siri extensions, Passbook, Guided Access, Shared Photo Streams, and more -- then here's everything you need to know about iOS 6 in just 6 minutes.
iOS 6 includes 10 major and, according to Apple, 200 new user features overall. It may not be as audacious as iPhone OS 2 was with the App Store, or iOS 5 was with iCloud, and Maps may cause some pain for some users for some time, but it does set the foundation for Apple's platform going forward.
To find out much, much more, head on over to our iOS 6 review.
Passbook is a brand new, built-in app for iOS 6 designed to serve as a one-stop repository for all the tickets, coupons, gift cards, and other vouchers provided by third-party App Store apps. That means all the stuff in your Apple Store app, Starbucks app, Delta app, Fandango app, and more is easily accessible via a single Home screen icon, and what's more -- Passbook knows what time it is and where you are, so it can put whatever card you need right on your Lock screen, right when you need it.
Some digging around the hardware code dump of iPhone 5 prototypes has revealed that there's an NFC antenna somewhere inside. The near field communications controllers are directly connected to the power management unit according to the code, but as always, there's no saying if the feature will make it to a final release this fall.