passbookPassbook was one of the highlight features of the iOS 6 update. It allows for storage of concert tickets, coupons, boarding passes, and gift cards right on your phone. Passbook and similar technology have been slowly making their way into the mainstream, with multiple vendors picking them up as additions to their gift card system. Turns out the latest business to make use of the Passbook gift card offering is Apple themselves.

With the Apple Store app or the web page, people can send gift cards via email. They can choose the amount starting at $25 as well as any particular message they want sent with the card. Once the order is processed, your recipient will be notified by email of your gift. They can print out the gift card to use it in store, shop online, or now use the new ‘Add to Passbook’ button to automatically make it available in the app. Gift card holders can also enter a zip code for the gift card, which will allow the phone to push a notification the next time you enter an Apple store.

With this latest move Apple has finally joined Starbucks and dozens of other vendors that are tying Passbook to their gift card offerings. While it seems odd that Apple is doing this now considering how long the Passbook feature has been available, it’s still a welcome update. And with the holiday season quickly approaching some iPhone users may be getting their Passbooks filled with gifts rather than their stockings.

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