Mobile Suica gets a major service and app update on March 21 for iOS Apple Pay Suica and Android Osaifu Keitai Mobile Suica, improvements include:
- New commute pass purchase UI for showing route details
- In app Touch and Go Shinkansen registration
- Easy cross OS Suica migration (Android~iOS) that eliminates the current one-way restriction.
- Improved notifications (most likely both app and Wallet notifications)
- Multiple Suica card creation for Android (Apple Pay Suica has always had this feature)
The JR East Mobile Suica Renewal page has details, warnings and instructions. There is an extremely long 20 hour system maintenance downtime window from March 20/11 am to March 21/7 am Japan Standard Time. JR East warns Apple Pay Suica users not to remove Suica from Wallet or transfer Suica to another device during the system maintenance downtime.
All Mobile Suica services will be down including Suica App login, so recharge Apple Pay Suica before then or cash recharge Suica at the nearest convenience store. Regular Apple Pay Suica use and Auto-Charge will work as always.
Apple Pay Suica users will need to download the updated Suica App. As noted earlier EX-Press Reserve Shinkansen in-app registration and purchase will be discontinued. No word if multi-lingual support is coming with the Suica App update or not…probably not. Hopefully there will be other improvements and tweaks throughout, perhaps even an hint of Super Suica 2 in 1 card support which is also due for a March launch. Mizuho Suica users will likely need to update Mizuho Wallet app as well.
The biggest UI improvements will be on the Android Osaifu Keitai side to remove the last vestiges old Symbian OS cruft and fully modernize it for the smartphone age. Another interesting point for Android Osaifu Keitai is that a new FeliCa Networks Osaifu Keitai app has to be downloaded and linked with the Android Mobile Suica app. I suspect it’s part of the major Mobile Suica cloud overhaul to streamline and ‘Super Suica-ize’ it for future mobile transit card support, Mobile ICOCA and more.