Differences between Google Wallet and Apple Wallet

gifttowallet is able to serve both Apple and Android devices. The pass version of Google Wallet must be enabled when creating the template since creating the Google Wallet version includes transferring data to Google servers. To learn how to enable Google Wallet for your passes, check out this page: Configure a template for Google Wallet

Though Apple Wallet and Google Wallet passes are similar, there are differences both from a design point of few and technically. The following gives you an overview of the most important differences.


Adoption rate

Apple Wallet is a native app which means 100% of Apple iOS devices have the app. Google Wallet is not pre-installed on most Android devices so it must be downloaded upfront. It’s tightly integrated with user’s Google accounts, though, which makes handling passes very easy.

Google Wallet passes are saved in user’s Google accounts

If you click a “Save to Google Wallet” button, the pass is saved in your Google account. The button works on all devices but in order to see the pass on your Android device you must use the same Google account that you’ve used when saving the pass. Passes are automatically synchronized.

Design of passes

Contents on a pass are structured differently

Passes in Apple Wallet have a front and a back. The front of the pass can’t be scrolled whereas the back can be scrolled.

Google Wallet passes don’t have a back but can be scrolled. On top the most important data is shown which is similar to the front on the Apple Wallet passes. Below the personal data and back fields are displayed.

The fields on the back of a pass in Apple Wallet can contain an unlimited amount of text. The same is true for Google Wallet though the text will be cropped and is only shown if a user clicks on it.


On back fields of a pass on Apple Wallet you can link any content. You can link to websites, mails, phones etc. On Google Wallet passes there are special link fields which means a link in a text can’t be clicked.
When you create a pass with gifttowallet we have created special link fields that you can use. The links specified there work in Apple Wallet and Google Wallet.


Google Wallet passes have a different format for the Logo. Logos are in square format and are shown rounded. The minimum size is 660×660 pixels. The logo should have a 15% margin so that is not cut off when it’s shown rounded on the pass. You can use this specifications for the logo you have to define for the Apple Wallet pass for convenience as well.

Location based notifications

Both passes support location based notifications by specifying GPS coordinates. On Apple you can specify a custom message that gets shown when a user is near that location. Messages that are shown by Google Wallet passes can’t be customized.
Location based notifications are shown on the user’s lock screen both on Android and iOS.


Apple Wallet supports iBeacons, up till now there’s no support for beacon based notifications for Google Wallet passes.

Personalized and dynamic content

Passes both on Apple Wallet and Google Wallet support personalization and can be updated.


Both versions support 1D and 2D barcodes.

Push Notifications

When changing content of a pass in Apple Wallet, the changes are shown as push notifications on the user’s lock screen. Changes to Google Wallet passes are also applied to the pass. Unfortunately push notifications of changes aren’t shown to the user.

When applying GPS coordinates push notifications on both Apple and Google Wallet passes are shown to the user.