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Apple's Passbook a boon for developers


Apple's Passbook has a surprising set of fans; app developers.

A Wired post this morning describes how a variety of companies have seen uptake of their apps skyrocket once Passbook compatibility was added. As an example, beauty retailer Sephora saw 38,000 more downloads of its app than usual on the day Passbook launched, and on that day 10,000 of its "Beauty Insider" loyalty cards were added to Passbook. That number is now at 375,000, and Sephora is also using Passbook for gift cards.

American Airlines also saw a huge bump in downloads of its app, with an additional 1 million downloads. At this time, close to 20,000 boarding passes are generated for Passbook every day, and the airline counts about 1.5 million active users of its app.

Passbook is apparently working better for many companies than Android's wallet technology, which utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC). More retailers have bar code readers available than RF reader systems, although Passbook doesn't offer the payment options that NFC has.

Life with Passbook isn't all rosy, however. Some users have complained about the need to have an interim app to create a pass. For example, United Airlines boarding passes and Fandango movie tickets both require that the user have the particular company's app installed to create a pass.

Phil Easter, American Airlines' director of mobile apps, notes that "Apple did a really good job of defining the spec and putting out all the required technical documents. It was one of the more straightforward implementations for our tech team."

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