Coupons.com app gets native Passbook integration

The deal hunting app now lets users send coupons directly to passbook from their app, instead of through the browser.

New app update includes "add to Passbook" buttons next to deals.
New app update includes "add to Passbook" buttons next to deals. CNET

Coupons.com today updated its iOS app to integrate with Apple's Passbook digital wallet service, something that previously required going through mobile Safari.

As part of the update, there's now an "add to Passbook" option next to coupons, which will spit the deal out to Apple's software app. Users previously had to navigate to that same link through Coupons' Web site, but the end result was the same.

Like before, when coupons get added they get an expiration date and instructions on the back for the cashier to redeem them. Not all coupons can be sent to Passbook, but the company says about 50 retailers with coupons on the service support the feature.

Passbook is an application from Apple designed to store membership cards, tickets, coupons, and boarding passes -- a bit like a digital wallet. As an added feature, Passbook can alert users to changes in connected account information, and pop up through the home screen to be readily accessed based on your location. The feature debuted as a part of iOS 6 for iPhones and iPod Touch, though it's not available on Apple's three iPad models.

In an interview last week, a Coupons.com representative said its coupons do not currently include location-based information but that it's something that's being explored. In the meantime, that means users will need to hunt out the coupon for a store they're in versus having it automatically pop up on their iPhone's home screen when they're within a certain proximity.

Coupons.com originally added Passbook integration to its mobile site in late October, about a month after the feature was publicly available. It's the latest company to jump on with support for Apple's nascent digital-wallet effort. Other recent additions include Starbucks, LivingSocial, and Google with its Chrome app for iOS.

Onlookers are keeping a close eye on which companies are getting involved with Passbook and how the product evolves given that it's a relatively new direction for Apple. The company has already come under criticism for not explaining Passbook well enough, something that will be addressed in an upcoming iOS software update.

 

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