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Google Wallet’s Latest Upgrade Introduces iPhone-Style Digital Ticket Handling to Android

TLDR; Google Wallet is being enhanced to import digital tickets and boarding passes in the .pkpass format used by Apple Wallet, offering Android users the same convenience iPhone users have enjoyed. This upgrade will allow Android users to add passes from websites and apps that previously only supported Apple Wallet. However, it’s unclear if Google will match Apple’s versatility in updating passes.

In a surprising move, Google is stepping up its game by enhancing Google Wallet, aiming to match the iPhone’s impressive digital ticket and boarding pass management capabilities. While both Android and iPhone users fiercely defend their preferred platforms, they secretly acknowledge that each has features the other lacks. Google is now addressing one area where it falls short.

Although Google Wallet and Apple Wallet excel at storing digital credit and debit cards, the iPhone version has always had an edge regarding passes. It’s no surprise that it was initially called Passbook. With its longer history, iPhone apps for airlines, theaters, and concert halls often include a button to add passes to the Wallet for easy access.

However, the passes seamlessly integrate into the iPhone Wallet app and may soon be compatible with Google Wallet. Android writer Mishaal Rahman revealed on X that files in the .pkpass format used by Apple can now be imported into Google Wallet. 9to5Google confirmed that some users have successfully done so, although the feature hasn’t been widely released yet.

This development will significantly boost convenience for Android users. Websites and apps with buttons for adding passes to Apple Wallet often lack an equivalent for Google Wallet. As one Reddit user pointed out, Google didn’t have its digital ticket system for a few years, leaving the Apple pkpass format as the only option for downloading cinema and train tickets. Some places still exclusively offer the Apple digital ticket format due to its longer existence.

By offering the same compatibility, Android users should be able to click on the Apple Wallet link and add the pass to their Android phone. While third-party apps could achieve a similar effect, an official solution from Google is a welcome addition.

However, it remains unclear whether Google will match Apple’s versatility in updating boarding passes when airplane seats change, for instance. Despite this uncertainty, Google Wallet’s latest upgrade is a significant step in bridging the gap between Android and iPhone digital ticket handling.


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