Our juicy Apple Passbook App Review

Back in June when Apple announced Passbook, excitement began to spread about this “Apple Wallet” that might steal the show in the digital wallets space. Well now the cat is out of the bag, and overall–we’re impressed. Passbook is still very limited, as only a handful of compatible iOS apps are available at this time; nevertheless, it’s slick, smooth and has plenty of room to grow.

In traditional Apple fashion, the app is exceedingly simple—as soon as you open the app your loyalty cards and tickets are waiting, and a quick touch will expand any card or ticket you wish to use. We’ve taken some screen shots for your enjoyment, including the Passbook homescreen, Walgreens and Starbucks loyalty cards (barcodes removed) and Eventbrite tickets.

Once configured Passbook is incredibly intuitive. The toughest part about using Passbook is trying to figure out how to add a card or ticket to the app. In this way the user experience varies for different use cases. At first when Passbook is empty, there is a link to compatible apps. So then you download the apps, and then what? nothing. It’s time to figure it out by yourself! Crazy. We’ve found some apps to simpler to integrate than others. In terms of Loyalty Cards, Walgreens provided a simple way for mobile users to add their card to Passbook by simply scanning a barcode. In contrast, to add Eventbrite tickets you must first open the ticket in the Eventbrite app, and then go through a couple more clicks to add the ticket to Passbook. This is a pain, but things are bound to improve.

Another issue is once you add a card or ticket to Passbook, you lose the button that connects you to the list of available passbook apps. Instead you have to go to App Store >Featured >Essential App Collections > and then!!!– wait for the slider to change to “Apps for Passbook.” Are you joking me? This is the best Apple can do in terms of discovery? This will need to improve.  To save you the hassle, here’s the most current (10/11/12) apps available for Passbook:

-Airbnb
-American Airlines
-Eventbrite
-Fandango
-Live Nation
-Lufthansa
-MLB.com
-Sephora
-Starbucks
-Target
-Ticketmaster
-United Airlines
-Walgreens

Probably the coolest aspect of Passbook so far is location-based notifications on the lock screen. For instance, when you’re on the way to an event you have an Eventbrite ticket for, a notification will pop up on your lock screen providing easy access to your ticket. Sweet!

We’d love to hear about your experiences using Passbook, join the conversation by posting your comments below!