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Apple tech FOUND ON ANDROID: Passbook gets pay-by-bonk

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While Apple and its Android rivals fight like cat and dog over smartphones, one piece of mobile technology from the iPhone maker has wound up on Google-powered devices.

Apple's Passbook app can store money-off vouchers, gift tokens, flight boarding passes and such paperwork, and flashes barcode-ish QR codes on iThing screens that are scanned by a reader to enable their use. Apple could use wirelessly transfer this data using NFC, as used by pay-by-wave systems, but its gadgets don't implement the tech - unlike rival Android devices.

However, Apple published the Passbook voucher format so developers on other platforms can play along with companies buying into the Passbook system. And software developer Attido has done just that by building Android app PassWallet that can use a phone's NFC electronics for pay-by-bonk.

PassWallet can also flash up QR codes to use a token, but if the person reading the voucher is using Skycore's CodeReadr then a bonk will do just as well, as this video shows:

NFC World spoke to Skycore, which has high hopes for the NFC capabilities of Android, and firmly believe bonking is the future of token redemption.

If nothing else it's got to make one wonder how long Apple can survive without NFC before iDevices start looking distinctly dated.

Some still argue that Near Field Communications is a technology looking for a problem, but the investment is now so great that even if it has no long-term future it's going to be everywhere for the next few years, and Apple surely won't be able to resist for that long. ®

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