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The release of Passbook is near, and some teams of developers have created systems for the generation, management and distribution of Passbook passes to service developers and businesses.
These types of platforms, independent of Apple, will be very useful for the future development of the Passbook application; the watershed of a new era of mobile marketing for businesses, leading to new mobile marketing strategies.
PassSource, the first of the Passbook passes generators, presents a number of illustrative passes with real brands in relation to the five categories drawn from Apple (boarding pass, coupons, store card, generic and event).
At the moment, PassSource only targets developers, and they can create passes in two different ways. They can decide whether to provide customers with an encoded link and let them create their own pass (in the case of coupons or other types of pass where security is not a problem), or they can create the pass for the end user and send them a link to download to their device. However, knowledge of the complexity of the structure of each pass is essential, so in order to use the best PassSource method of creation, a thorough understanding of the specifications released by Apple is paramount.
The site PassK.it is another site that offers some passes ready for Passbook, but it does not allow the generation and customisation of them.
In the meantime, other sites have sprung up, but it is only the pass generator Passdock that offers a very useful innovation: a preview of the pass on the browser, which is updated instantly with each change and without the need to have installed iOS 6.
The choice that Passdock offers developers is very wide: new templates to custom passes can be created, or passes can be created by filling in the default fields of the templates related to the Apple categories of boarding pass, generic, coupons, event and store card.
The creation and instant viewing of a pass with Passdock becomes so easy that it saves the developer a considerable amount of time and allows the curious user or organisation the opportunity to explore, before anyone else, the world of Passbook, complete with full support of new strategies of mobile marketing, with certain success.
Passdock has its own API in order to interact with existing services, and although it is currently only available in a beta version, it already shows good stability and completeness. It is also free, so it is recommended that everyone pays it a visit to get a preview of the look that will be in portfolios everywhere in the coming months.
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