Today, Apple has updated its Apple Store application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with gift card support and Siri integration. The gift card support allows users to purchase Apple Store gift cards for friends and family. As we first reported, these gift cards will work in physical retail stores by way of the iOS 6 Passbook application. Additionally, the new app update features Siri integration. Users will be able to use Siri (on compatible devices) to find pricing and details about Apple’s products.
What’s New in Version 2.4
– Buy new gift cards and email them to friends and family right from the app. These gift cards are easily integrated with the new Passbook app (U.S. only, iOS 6 required).
– Ask Siri to help you find prices and shop for Apple products. (Siri-enabled device required.)
EasyPay is also now available in Canada, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France.
Update: We’re currently not seeing the Passbook functionality listed in Apple’s release notes in the update itself. Additionally, the apparently new Siri-integration is functional on the old version of the app. That may be because it is only new server-side.
Update 2: Tipsters have provided a number of new details about the app’s new Passbook functionality.
You can now purchase Passbook-compatible gift cards via the Apple Online Store on a computer. A new portal is now live to do this. These will then be sent to a recipient of your choosing via email. They can click a button in the email and it will open in Passbook.
The functionality is currently hidden in the app itself. We’ve located the new gift cards by going to Products, then iPhone, scrolling all the way down, and clicking view all accessories, than scrolling all the way down again.
Apple Stores have begun being receiving a new version of their point-of-sale system with a usable camera in order to capture gift card information via Passbook. Stores stuck on the old sleds can type in information manually.
Passbook Apple gift cards are not compatible with iTunes purchases or EasyPay for customers.