You might have noticed that I'm currently travelling quite frequently by aircraft which means I have to carry and to take care of a lot of boarding passes which allow me to pass TSA, give me access to airline lounges as well as finally allow me to enter my flights. Sure, whenever possible, I'm checking in online from my smartphone and nowadays it's pretty common to receive the boarding pass with a 2D bar code on the phone. No more ticket printing, no more check-ins on airports and there's one handy app I'm using quite frequently recently: PassWallet for Android by Attido Mobile. PassWallet brings support for Apple's Passbook mobile tickets to the Android platform and allows to collect all kind of tickets and coupons.
Introduced by Apple this summer, Apple's iOS 6, PKPass files are pretty much expected to quickly become the de facto standard for mobile ticketing. Not an open standard at all, it was designed by Apple and announced at the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11, 2012.
Latest available v1.05 brings a couple of enhancements and allows to manually updates passes, features a map view of all your passes, which is especially handy for airline tickets, sets screen brightness to full when viewing barcode and allows to swipe between views & cards. Last but not least, the 99 Cent in-app purchase option removes the ads.
Using PassWallet couldn't be easier. For instance, if I check-in at Lufthansa, I'll receive the mobile boarding pass as an E-Mail. This E-Mail also contains a link to Lufthansa's Passbook file for my flight which I can simply download. PassWallet recognizes the file and adds the ticket to the list of available Passbook tickets. In addition, PassWallet also allows to archive older tickets.
Next time I'm boarding a flight (or entering TSA or the lounge), I simply open the appropriate boarding pass, tap on the barcode to get it full-sided and put my phone on the scanner.
According to Wikipedia, quite a few airlines, including Air China, Air Canada, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Porter Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Australia Airlines and even Amtrak are already offering Passbook passes.
I can already hear the comments that Android is copying everything from Apple and no question, Apple has invented the idea and file format of the Passbook but does it mean it should stay exclusive for iOS? Aren't good ideas better widely spread than possibly fail because of the broad support?
In any case, I really enjoy to use PassWallet on my Android phones since it makes boarding so much more convenient. Sure, I have exactly the same bar code within the E-Mail I received but scrawling through your inboxes on airports can be annoying (even if I put this kind of E-Mails in a special and dedicated folder). Pretty often, airline or security stuff want to see the physical but digital boarding pass and in the past I had a lot of trouble since these E-Mails can be a mess. With PassWallet it's much more convenient for me and all airport staff, even if I use the Passbook passes on an Android phone only, I never had problems with it.
PassWallet for Android is available free of charge from the Android Play Market and is financed by adds. To get rid of the adds, an in-app purchase option is available for 99 Cent only. Worth the money if you are travelling a lot!
Cheers ~ Arne