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.

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2 Response Comments

  • Paul  June 29, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I agree. I think Passbook has massive potential – both for the consumer and business.

    I love the idea of getting rid of all that clutter in my wallet. And better yet for the discount coupons I receive, and I normally lose or they expire before I use them, my iPhone will remind me before they expire or perhaps even as I walk pass the shop! That’s convenience with a capital C.

    I have been using Passbook (in Beta iOS6) for the last week and the user interface is so slick and clean. Apple really have thought about some of the problems; eg the screen doesn’t rotate like safari, the backlight doesn’t go off just as you are about to scan, the passes are double sided so you can store more information on them.

    I posted a video to my blog and youtube to help people see what you can do, if they don’t have iOS6 beta installed and also to show people where developers can find ready made passes; so they too can experience Passbook.

    Here’s the link:

    Hope you find it helpful

  • Jonathan Barnes  June 29, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Yes, Passbook has a lot of specs that would help consumers and business owners as well.