Apple's release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 software had everyone talking about the flaws in Apple's news Maps app. But there's more to the latest iPhone operating system. One of them is Passbook, an Apple-specific app that allows you to keep all your passes, including boarding passes, event tickets and coupons, in one place.
The first thing to know about Passbook is that it doesn't do much on its own; it's like an empty wallet. You'll need to download compatible apps from participating companies for it to work. For example, to save a boarding pass, you'll first need to download the partner airline app (right now that's just American Airlines, United Airlines and Lufthansa).
In addition to boarding passes, you can save all kinds of tickets and store cards on Passbook, including Fandango movie tickets, Target and Starbuck discount cards and concert tickets from Live Nation.
Here you can see what the Lufthansa boarding pass looks like in Passbook. It's scannable, so you can check in right from your iPhone and you'll get an alert if your gate changes, even after you are already checked in.
Relevant coupons, passes and cards will appear on your Lock Screen at the appropriate time and place (if you have allowed Passbook to monitor your current location). If you're near a Walgreen's, that store's discount card will appear. Likewise, if a coupon is about to expire, the app will alert you; if you've arrived at the movie theater, your ticket should appear.
All in all, Passbook looks like a great organizational tool that saves you the trouble of hunting through your wallet for gift cards, loyalty cards, coupons and other tickets. However, since Passbook is still pretty new, there are only 14 compatible apps available, so you'll have to hang on until your favorite drugstore, airline or coffee chain signs up.