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Lots of Apple news this week, as the company known for iPads and iPods just released all kinds of details on the next big things in tech—at least in theory. While we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of iOS 7, at least there's some fresh Passbook action as more airlines update mobile boarding passes to work with the app.
Just last week Alaska Airlines updated their app to show a little love and support for Passbook, and this week it’s British Airways' turn. The carrier is adding the feature to the current version of their app, and they’re promising that from now on all boarding passes will be available in Passbook. Not only that they’re already working on the next update and upgrade, as mid June is when direct links will appear within your lock screen when you’re ready to take off. We don’t have any British Airways flights coming up, so we’ll take their word for it.
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Alaska Airlines has been a spending a little extra on their IT budget this month, as they’ve been hard at work updating their official app for your iPhone and iPod.
The latest version of the thing improves on some of the existing features, but the biggest improvement is that it adds the capability to utilize and support Passbook. That means that when you check into your flight you can now beam your digital boarding pass to Passbook, and your device will load your documents upon arrival to the airport.
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Think back to a few months agoto September, to be specific.This was the month of the Apple keynote announcing iOS6, the iPhone 5 and the glorious little app addition named "Passbook." Simply put, Passbook neatly collects all the little virtual ticket stubs which before resided within their own individual apps.
Now your Starbucks card info for coffee today can live in harmony (and very easy access) with your movie ticket for tomorrow and boarding pass for next week. A doff of the cap to American Airlines, United and Lufthansa, the first airlines to support mobile boarding passes within Passbook.
Now that everyone has had a few more months to send their tech teams into overdrive, the total number of Passbook-positive airlines stands at 10, with still more on the way.
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"Mobile Boarding Passes are God's gift to modern air travel." That was the title of one our stories way back in May 2010, when such technology was still on the drawing boards at airlines. Still, a few pioneering airlines were already allowing flyers to go paperless and, after using our first mobile boarding pass on a Lufthansa flight, we thought it pretty neat.
Apple completely agrees that mobile boarding passes are pretty neat, and they've put so much brain power into making the use of them easier, faster and prettier that their new iOS6 app, Passbook, heavily features mobile boarding pass integration.
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Tomorrow is a pretty big day for fans of the iPhone, and if the rumors are true it’s the big reveal of the next generation of the mobile device—along with other Apple products as well. Some are preparing by ditching their current generation phones on Craigslist or eBay in order to raise some funds for the latest and greatest in iTechnology, but there are others—like some airlines—burning the midnight oil in preparation for the launch.
Part of tomorrow’s announcement is expected to be the arrival of iOS 6, which is pretty much what makes everything from the iPhone to the iPad tick. One of the new features is going to be something called Passbook, and if all goes according to plan this will be some sort of digital wallet for everything from tickets and coupons to loyalty cards. This also might just include access to airline reservations, ticketing details, and other travel tidbits—and that’s where American Airlines and Delta come in.