Microsoft’s recent Windows Phone 8.1 update has a sneaky workaround for using passes from the Passbook iOS app. The new Microsoft mobile OS is said to support Passbook natively, allowing users to load their Passbook boarding passes and coupons in the Windows Wallet app.
The Passbook app first appeared on iOS 6 (2012). It allows iPhone users to store their loyalty cards, coupons, and concert tickets in one app. It’s not particularly unique; similar apps exist in Windows Phone and Android. However, what makes Passbook so popular is its widening adoption; it recently received support from brands such as Major League Baseball, McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Ticketmaster.
The hidden trick, which was discovered by The Verge, isn’t perfect. For one, adding passes on your Windows phone requires patience. iPhone users can add passes by simply pushing a button within an app. With a Windows phone, you would need to scan a barcode or download passes from a text message or an email.
Another drawback to using Passbook on a Windows phone is the lack of support for push notifications, which Apple uses to update cards. Without it, the apps can not show updated information, like flight delays.
It’s not clear if there’s a secret handshake behind the scenes over this. Nonetheless, you should take advantage of this now in case Apple puts a stop to it.