what are they and how to open them on Android

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It is possible that at some point you have come across a PKPass file. Unlike other extensions, such as JPG or MP3, the files PKPass They are part of that group of formats that are unknown to most users. In this article we answer your questions and tell you what they are, how to open them and which applications are compatible with PKPass.

What is a PKPass file

A file PKPass it is actually a ZIP folder with various elements inside necessary to generate passes. For example, it is used to create identification cards, transport tickets or tickets to events. All of them, in their digital version. Images such as the company logo, JSON files, and others are included within the PKPass file.

PKPass is a format that appeared together with the Passbook digital wallet application, developed by Apple for iOS 6. Although it was the Californian company that was behind its creation, it is a completely open format. Therefore, it can be used in any operating system, as long as the appropriate application is available. By its nature, that of hosting sensitive data and that must be validated to access a venue or travel, is encrypted. Although it is possible to see its interior simply by changing its extension to ZIP, the user cannot make modifications.

Contents of a generic PKPassContents of a generic PKPass

Its structure follows this pattern:

  • logo.png. It is the image that includes the logo of the transport company or the organizer of the show. It is always displayed in the upper left corner.
  • background.png. It is the image that serves as the background on the front face.
  • footer.png. Image located under the barcode or QR code.
  • icon.png. Icon that identifies the ticket.
  • pass.json. It is a JSON file that is responsible for housing all the data in the fields of the PKPass files. In the case of a plane ticket, it would include the time of the flight, the boarding gate or the seat.
  • manifest.json. JSON file that includes the paths to the rest of the PKPass components. We can see it as the skeleton of the bill.
  • signature. It is a file that includes encryption to prevent changes to the ticket.
  • strip.png. It is the image that appears behind the main fields on the front of the bill.
  • thumbnail.png. It is the image that is used as a thumbnail.

In addition, it includes several folders to adapt the ticket to the regional configuration of the device. These are used so that the time format or language matches the settings indicated in the operating system.

How to open PKPass files on Android

If you want to open a PKPass file on Android you need to install an application that is capable of reading and interpreting it. A highly recommended is ONE Wallet.

After downloading and installing it, open the directory where your PKPass file is located. Click on it.

PKPass file in the browserPKPass file in the browser

Android will ask you to choose an application to open it. If you have multiple PKPass-compliant apps, select one.

Open PKPass fileOpen PKPass file

Finally, your ticket and all the data it includes will be displayed on the screen.

Open PKPass cardOpen PKPass card

One Wallet allows you to make a backup copy of the files you have uploaded. You can enable this function from the application settings. Of course, you can also keep your PKPass file safe by uploading it to the cloud or copying it to an external storage device.

Other Passbook apps to open PKPass files on Android

One Wallet is not the only app that allows you to open Passbook or PKPass files. The truth is that there is a long list of apps to open PKpass files. Some of them are Pass2U Wallet or PassWallet. In either case, the process for opening the PKPass file will always be the same.