Friday, October 19, 2012

Lufthansa, United Airlines update their mobile iOS apps to add support for Passbook, fix features related to iOS 6

Some new mobile features from Apple, Google or whoever, are implemented at launch. Apps like the new Panorama camera feature inside iOS 6, for instance, work the minute the user updates their iPhone or iPod touch. (Unfortunately, this was true of the new Maps, as well.)

But some need developers to come on board. Passbook is like this. For days and weeks following the launch of iOS 6 Passbook sat on many iPhone owners devices empty and useless. Slowing, though, developers have started to roll out updates to their mobile apps that incorporate the e-commerce system.

This morning, both Lufthansa and United Airlines have issued updates to their mobile iOS apps that add in Passbook.
Lufthansa's update, in addition to adding in Passbook support, also fixes a bug that effected push notifications – in fact, they could not be activated in the last update, apparently. Travelers use these notifications, of course, to be informed of important flight information like delays, gate changes, etc.

The app also includes a push notification for travel deals, though this feature only works for residents of Germany.

United Airlines has also updated its mobile iOS app to add in Passbook support. The update also mentions support for the new iPhone 5's larger display. As a result, and as you can see here at left, the screenshots inside the app description have been changed to reflect the taller screen.

The United app update also makes sure the app is working properly with Calendar - again an important feature for travelers.

One last thing is mentioned in the United app that, while obvious, I bet a lot of travelers miss. To make Passbook work, the traveler must check-in using the mobile app. The app will then ask the traveler if they want to add their boarding pass directly to Passbook. It may seem obvious, but I bet more than a few travelers will think thee things will work on their own.