Sharing passes between Google Wallet and Apple devices could soon get a lot easier

Google wallet icon on blue background in corner of phone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Both Google and Apple have been hard at work for years to empty out your pockets and integrate those things into your phone. Last year, Google Wallet rolled out link-based pass sharing that lets users swap contactless credentials stored in the app, including digital event tickets and travel passes, with other people. Unfortunately, the process was a bit more convoluted when transferring passes between Android and iOS—something that's likely to change soon thanks to a new feature. 

That's according to Android expert Mishaal Rahman, who posted on X this week that Google is integrating support for .pkpass files on the Google Wallet app. Apple uses this file format for passes stored in its own Wallet app on the best iPhones. While Rahman said the feature isn't live for him yet, a Telegram user known as Cob notified him of the feature and shared a video of it in action. 

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In the video, Cob first accesses the .pkpass file through a file manager app, triggering a permissions window where Google Photos is selected by default. However, the list below shows several options to choose from, including Wallet. After selecting Google Wallet, it instantly opens up the .pkpass file within the app and takes them to the "Add pass" screen. Once "Continue" is selected, the next screen explains how Wallet manages data. Cob then completes the process by tapping "I Agree & Add" in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Previously, the only way to open a .pkpass file on Google Wallet was by downloading third-party apps like Pass2Pay on the Play Store. Adding native support for .pkpass files would be the latest of many improvements Google has been integrating into Google Wallet to help make it the best payment consolidation app on the market. It's unclear exactly when Google Wallet will roll out .pkpass support to all users, but given that it's already available to some, we likely won't have long to wait for an official timeline from Google. 

Users of the best Android phones had been asking for a convenient way to share passes with friends and family members since the days of Google Wallet's predecessor, Google Pay. Google finally delivered in October, bringing the long-requested pass-sharing feature to Android. 

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Alyse Stanley
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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.