Chuck Skoda on Apple Passbook from his post, A Week With iOS6:
Passbook is a bit of a strange one. To me, it’s this years Newsstand. Newsstand still sits empty on my last page of apps. There isn’t a single publication I’ve seen that has enticed me to pull the trigger on a subscription, and I haven’t seen any free content worth reading either. I can’t see Passbook being useful to me in the short term. Scott Forstall billed it as one place to store all your passes. Well, currently I already have that. The Starbucks app is the only “pass” that I’ve made any use of in practice. The airline I frequent doesn’t support electronic boarding passes, and my local movie theater doesn’t use Fandango.
As of today, it’s hard to imagine this helping me for at least a number of months if not years. In last weeks “Live From WWDC” episode of The Talk Show, John and Cabel talk about it as a “half-way point” to being able to leave your wallet behind. Maybe they’re right, but to me it looks more like an eighth-way point right now.
I’ll have to re-watch Forstall’s Passbook demo, but to me the whole Fandango/plane ticket thing is a bit of a red-herring, or at least an obfuscation of what Passbook in the hands of millions could do when it comes to local.
Groupon and its ilk have proven we are a deal-crazy culture. “Specials” are an important part of the UI in Foursquare’s new version. We are up to our neck in customer loyalty start-ups. And we need a better way than the SPAM filter to organize all of the local deal noise coming at us.
Once it launches, I am pretty sure that there is some kind of API involved that allows app developers content to show up in the Passbook app. Sure, you still might use your Starbucks app, but why would you when your Starbucks points and your Groupons, Foursquare Specials, Level-Ups, etc. all start showing up in your Passbook?
It’s quite possible that soon after launch, Passbook moves way past the eighth-way point.
If Apple Passbook isn’t the future of local online commerce, it’s at least one of them.