updated 01:35 am EDT, Fri September 7, 2012
Australian man gets offer to save boarding pass
An Australian man running a developer preview of iOS 6 discovered when he checked in for a Virgin Australia flight using the airline's website on his iPhone that Passbook -- a forthcoming feature that is meant to "store" digital passes, tickets and membership cards -- had detected the checkin and offered to save the boarding pass. The discovery indicates the development on the new feature is already in an advanced state, with support from existing partners or the ability of the software to detect some types of check-in and act on them.
In addition to storing digital passes (as seen below), the program can also update users on changes such as flight delays or concert cancellations or other changes through push notifications, reports the Australian Business Traveller. Virgin has apparently agreed to support the program, and United has already publicly committed to it as well. Other airlines are expected to follow.
The Passbook program acts as a kind of "virtual wallet" where users can add their own loyalty cards, and which will auto-detect certain kinds of electronic documents. The app can show the balance on a gift card, and depending on the user's location can automatically call up the appropriate document on the lock screen -- a boarding pass in an airline terminal, for example, or a loyalty card when the user enters a particular shop.
Apple's iOS 6 update still does not have a firm release date, though consumers are expected to learn more about it at the rollout of the iPhone 5 next week, where it may go live -- though the current wisdom has it being formally released alongside the actual shipping of the iPhone, sometime later this month. [via AusBT]