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How To Get Around Paying $15 for the Mobile Passport Plus App

It’s always good to enjoy a good thing while it lasts.

Starting in late April, the Mobile Passport App—affectionately coined as the poor man’s Global Entry here—has begun offering a premium version called Mobile Passport Plus for an extra $15 per year (though the free version is still available to use). In order to sway users to upgrade, the app is providing a free 7-day trial to all members.

More than anything else, the app is simply removing the functionality in order to easily scan and store passport information, so new users will have to manually enter their passport info each time they go through customs.

From personal experience, if you were already a previous user and had your passport scanned, it will prompt existing users to delete their data or upgrade. But there are old versions of the app floating around, that do enable at least Android users to keep using it as it was, tested and verified by our team.

(Though we’re not sure how long this will last, either.)

APK Pure stores old versions of the app on its site. Users will have to delete the current version of the app and install the 2.16.1.0 version of the app1 (dated January 21, 2019) and prevent the app from auto-updating.

(The 2.18.0.0 version of the app will keep previously stored/scanned passports, but introduces Mobile Passport Plus.)

Here’s how to prevent auto updates for specific apps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app .
  2. Tap My apps & games.
  3. Head to the Installed tab.
  4. Go to Mobile Passport, and then tap  in the upper right hand corner.
  5. Uncheck the box next to Enable auto update.
Apple Users There was no iOS workaround we could find. This was verified by a mobile software developer, who had this to say: “Sadly, [that’s right]. Once you upgrade you’re stuck. Apple is pretty unforgiving about that type of stuff.”

The official announcement:

Dear Members,

We launched Mobile Passport in 2014 with the vision of expediting travelers’ arrival into the U.S. and making it incredibly easy to do. No complicated interview or application needed while ensuring the privacy and security of our members’ data. We are humbled that our app now reaches more than six million travelers. It has been incorporated into nearly 30 airports and cruise ports and was featured as Apple’s App of the Day. We owe all of our success to the loyalty and feedback of our members. Thank you!

Today begins a new chapter for Mobile Passport. We’re excited to introduce Mobile Passport plus, a premium version of our app that allows U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors to enjoy all the basic features of Mobile Passport in addition to other convenient features, like use of the automated passport scanner and encrypted storage of passport profiles to prepare for upcoming trips. Mobile Passport plus will be priced at $14.99 per year and we’re providing a free 7-day trial to all members.

By offering Mobile Passport plus, we will be able to invest more resources into building greater functionality within the app, make operational improvements, as well as create new products and services that will provide value to travelers beyond the Mobile Passport app.

We will still offer a free basic version of Mobile Passport that will allow access to the Mobile Passport Control express lanes, however there will be some product limitations. Users of the free version will not be able to store passport information for upcoming trips or use the document scanner to automatically enter their document information. But, they will be able to manually enter and submit their details upon arriving at their port of entry.

At Airside, we’re focused on building innovative digital identity products that not only offer convenience, but also are built with a privacy-by-design approach to empower our consumers in an information sharing world. Thank you for joining us along the journey!

1 footnote

  1. It is ridiculously easy to install an APK file. Simply download it, and the phone should prompt the installation process.


[APK Pure]

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