The Initial Impressions Of Passbook

22 September 2012

Megan Lavey-Heaton, TUAW:

So, you can install an app, but it won’t appear in Passbook unless you use the associated iOS app. That kind of defeats the purpose of it, doesn’t it? You shouldn’t need to buy a movie ticket, planet ticket, etc. in order to get an app to work properly, especially a marquee feature of iOS 6.

The first innings for Passbook were definitely mishandled. I saw a lot of people on Twitter who assumed it worked like Newsstand, where the app itself lives in Newsstand.

This is different to Passbook. Apps (and websites) produce passes which go into Passbook. For example, you book a movie in the Fandango app, which then places the ticket into Passbook. The ticket and the app are completely independent. You can delete the app; the ticket remains. Delete the ticket, the app continues as normal.

However, I don’t agree wholeheartedly with the view expressed by Lavey-Heaton, though; in particular, the latter sentence. The whole point of Passbook is that you buy a ticket for stuff to happen. When you buy a wallet, it doesn’t come pre-packaged with gift-cards? That is what the Passbook app is emulating — a wallet1 ready to contain things. That is the metaphor that Apple needed to explain better on first launch.

1 A wallet that conspicuously excludes payments, that is.