Apple Passbook gets placed on my last screen with Newsstand and Weather

Apple Passbook gets placed on my last screen with Newsstand and Weather

Summary: Apple's Passbook promises to eliminate the "clutter" and bring all your loyalty cards, flight data, and other service information to one location, but I still can't get it to provide anything useful.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPhone
Apple Passbook gets placed on my last screen with Newsstand and Weather

My last home page on my iPhone is reserved for apps I never use, but cannot remove, and currently one of the ones sitting there that really should not be is Apple Passbook. I understand it is a new service and it is made clunky by having to first go into each associated app and set things up, but I still can't get it to do ANYTHING useful. Thus, it joins Newstand, Game Center, Weather, and Stocks on the back page and will remain there until it starts to provide some current data.

Target was the first, and only, Passbook-associated app that provided me with anything and that was for a coupon good for a week. After the coupon expired it still stayed up on the Passbook screen and didn't go away until I manually removed it. Starbucks recently rolled out an updated app, still doesn't support the full screen of the iPhone 5, but I still do not see anything in Passbook even when I stand in a Starbucks location. I bought tickets last night on Fandango and again, nothing appeared in Passbook. Alaska Airlines was one of the first airline carriers to provide electronic handheld tickets and they are not on Passbook yet so I can't test their service out. At this time, Passbook is completely useless for me and given that I have used a lot of phones and software I can't imagine it being useful for too many "regular" smartphone users unless I am really screwing things up.

UPDATE: OK, after getting some tips from readers I discovered there was one last step I did not complete to get Starbucks to work with Passbook. Apple really should make this a LOT easier for people, but here is what you do. After making sure your Starbucks card is all set in the Starbucks app, don't worry about Passbook app, you tap the Manage button on the card you want to appear in Passbook and then tap Add Card to Passbook. A card is then built and added into Passbook. Remember, that to get these different cards and services into Passbook you have to go into each separate app and walk through a bunch of settings. It really is an inelegant and non-Apple like solution that needs to get better and much more intuitive. I would appreciate a pop-up with something like, "We note you have a Starbucks app, do you want to put it into Passbook? If so, then here is how you do that." I still may use the dedicated full featured Starbucks app, but at least I have one thing up and running in Passbook now.

Microsoft will be providing all the details on their competing Windows Phone 8 Wallet hub in just over a week and I sure hope it performs as designed. I would LOVE to have a central location for my movie theater loyalty cards, flight details, Starbucks card, etc., but so far Apple hasn't provided that and I continue to have to use the dedicated apps for each service.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone

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  • People use Passbook for flights and Starbucks already, but it to have more

    usability than that Passbook must have more time than just month.

    It will take up to *six* months for lesser businesses to adopt this system.

    If you are not flying frequently and not going to Starbucks and the like, then, in the meantime, you might indeed want to move Passbook icon to the end of applications list.
    • Is Passbook an industry standard?

      Can anyone license Passbook so that it can be made available on other OSs like WP8?

      Or is this an Apple only proprietary program that will forever be limited solely to Apple devices?
      • App still required

        I read that the Apps putting stuff in passbook still have to be on your system. I guess Microsoft and Google can make a similar API for WP and Android apps. Addition to Google wallet perhaps? Keep both credit cards and loyalty cards in one place....
        • No, I just used it through the web

          It was fairly straightforward. Normally I'd get something in an email but instead I got a card in Passbook, which appears to be much more suited to the task. I wasn't actually expecting Passbook to be an option, but a button appeared on the website after I filled in my details.

          I don't get all this fuss from Miller, its an obvious enough concept: Add your event or whatever to Passbook by pressing the big button that says 'Add to Passbook', use the pass as needed, delete when finished, done.

          It's up to app developers and website designers to make that big obvious button a little bit more obvious. Apple would only irritate people if they started adding pop-ups and initiating Passbook cards without user permission.
      • toddy

        Doesn't even make sense man... This doesn't seem any different from the phone Apps we've had since the original droid was released!
    • Key Ring

      On my Passbook I have Walgreens and Target. Then I installed Key Ring to my iPhone 3GS. With KeyRing app I photo the front and back of the cards, grocery type loyalty cards and others, they have a scanner to scan the card's barcode as well. Setup an account with KeyRing now I receive many offers and coupons as well. Pull up the card scan it at, for example Krogers. Seems this is where Passbook is wanting to go perhaps.

      At present Passbook does not do much, however my feeling things will change for the better. Also, at the author mentioned Passbook needs to be much more intuitive. At present to add cards to Passbook I find it quite cumbersome; Key Ring is a breeze.
    • Hmm

      Which office are yo in at Infinite Loop?
    • Use a Pumpkinpass

      Get a PumpkinPass ( It's just a Halloween pass, but it shows how passes *should* work.

      No apps required! Just get the pass from the website, then use that pass to load up other passes in the same genre.
  • I created a folder called CRAP to store bundled Apple apps

    It is inexcusable, and anti-competitive that these applications are embedded so deeply into the kernel that they can't be uninstalled. There is no need for apps like Weather and Passbook to be a part of the kernel. At least I presume they are part of the kernel and that this is why they can't be uninstalled?

    Newstand is even worse, it can't even be moved into a folder. It must be embedded into the super kernel.

    I demand that Apple offer a ballot screen so that I can pick my default email, browser, wallet, weather, magazine stand, etc. app every time I turn on my iDevice. Anything less is grossly anti-competitive and monopolistic.
    • Mine is called JUNK

      I have Passbook, Game Center, Weather, Stocks, and Notes in there, but like you said Newsstand can't be placed in there. I actually like and use Newsstand on my iPad for magazines, but the iPhone is too small to really read a magazine on.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Funny

        "I actually like and use Newsstand on my iPad for magazines"

        Exactly the same for me. Newstand is actually decent on the iPad. Waste of space on the iPhone.
      • Generally speaking

        If you don't have folders for every categories or a system to manage folders, then every folder is potentally a Junk/Trash folder. As soon as you drop an app into an folder, you'll never gonna use that apps again.
        • Not exactly...

          I have lots of apps in folders that I use all the time. I have a folder called "Computer" for instance that has apps that connect to my computer in some way, like Dropbox, XBMC Constellation etc. I have a Social folder for social networking apps that I don't use as frequently as Facebook, like Skype, Twitter etc.

          Just because they're in folders, doesn't mean they're not going to be used.
    • That is funny!

      All of your responses on my system automatically go to my CRAP folder... ;)
      • Then how did you respond to my post?

        If you didn't even see my post, how did you respond to it? The whole point of having a crap folder is that you put things in there that you never want to look at. If you are looking at posts in your crap folder, you are doing it wrong.
    • There's nothing anti-competitive

      None of those apps have a monopoly.

      Newsstand is a folder itself by the way, no nested folders in the home screen.
      • re: Newsstand is a folder itself by the way, no nested folders in the home

        Yes you can. If you create a new folder and quickly drop the Newsstand into it while the new folder still is animated, it will go in. Took me a few tries.
        none none
    • That is the worst part of iOS!

      The very fact that you cannot change default apps sucks a lot!

      Crud, on OS X you can change them but it is so convoluted that it is just bizarre! I mean, really, why do I have to go into Apple's email app to tell it that I want to use Outlook for my email?
    • It's not in the kernel


      It's understandable that you don't know, at least this explains why you make weird assumptions and statements sometimes. But, let's start with: This is not Windows
      It is UNIX and UNIX is modular. It has kernel, system level tools and user applications.

      Anything you see as an icon on the iPhone screen is an (user level) application. The OS and other applications will function fine if you remove these applications. Might be, there is a way to remove them from the screen, but Apple does not document it -- perhaps because they don't want to deal with whining users "I deleted Passbook and I now want it back!!!". :)
      I also believe these cannot be removed, so that you cannot replace them with third party apps with the same name, and further confuse the user.

      Get over it : all these things are applications
      The OS kernel as well as the OS services are pretty much invisible to you.
  • It will be interesting to hear what MS has to say

    It seems to me the biggest advantage for Windows Phone 8 Wallet is ISIS, but that has two big draw-backs. First, it's already a year late. We finally have what looks like a solid launch date, but only in Austin & Salt Lake City. How long until we have a nationwide, or at least major metro areas, roll-out? Second, ISIS is a joint venture of major wireless carriers. Does anyone actually believe that AT&T, VZW, and T-Mobile can agree on anything other than that a "good" system is one that maximizes their control over subscribers?