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.

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

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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