Starbucks Stories March 15

Starbucks offers free Aira app usage for blind and partially sighted customers

The Aira app for blind and partially sighted people normally costs anywhere from $29 to $199 per month, but free Aira app usage is now available inside Starbucks stores across the US…

Starbucks Stories September 26, 2017

Starbucks now lets you reload store cards with Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Starbucks just made its Apple Watch app a whole lot more useful. Starting today you can reload your Starbucks Card using Apple Pay right on the Apple Watch. Paying with your Starbucks Card was previously supported but was possible with the built-in Wallet app; reloading required using the iPhone app.

Starbucks Stories April 4, 2017

Starbucks today updated its iPhone app to add a new “Starbucks Gifts” iMessage app, allowing users send gift cards through Apple’s iMessage and pay for them using Apple Pay.

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Starbucks Stories December 7, 2016

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[UPDATE 12/8: Starbucks is now official.]

Pokémon Go is teaming up with Sprint to turn businesses into PokéStops and Gyms as part of Niantic’s latest move to keep players in the game. The news comes just one day before Starbucks is expected to do the same while introducing a Pokémon Go-themed drink for trainers. Niantic has also teased out when we might start seeing new monsters appear in the game.

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Starbucks Stories January 19, 2016

Starbucks-Spotify

For me, coffee at Starbucks is secondary to the great music you discover courtesy of your twenty-something barista’s Spotify DJ skills. The good news is you can now easily save those Spotify playlists for listening later through an update to the Starbucks iPhone app today. expand full story

Starbucks Stories December 2, 2015

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You can now add Starbucks, Wunderlist, and LinkedIn to the list of iOS apps with features utilizing Apple’s new 3D Touch feature on the latest generation iPhones. expand full story

Starbucks Stories September 22, 2015

Starbucks completes U.S. rollout of ‘order ahead’ feature, will hit Canada & UK next month

If you haven’t got time to stand around in a Starbucks queue to place your order, the good news is that the company has completed the U.S. rollout of its ‘order ahead’ service, which allows you to place and pay for your order on your iPhone before reaching the store.

The service started as a test in Portland before gradually expanding across the USA. It says that it is now available in all 7,400 wholly-owned stores. Note that it is not supported by franchised stores, which tend to be smaller.

Starbucks says that the service will be introduced in Canada and the UK next month. The app is a free download from iTunes.

Starbucks Stories June 12, 2015

9to5Toys Last Call: 4-Port USB Desktop Charger $9, Free App of the Week, 5K iMac from $2,000, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

Charge up to four USB devices at once w/ this RAVPower Desktop Charger for $9 Prime shipped (Reg. $16), more

App Store Free App of the Week: Slayin endless RPG goes free for the first time ($1 value)

Best Buy 2-Day Sale: 27″ 5K Retina iMac w/ 1TB Fusion Drive $2,000 w/ .edu or $2,100 w/o (Reg. $2,299), more

Get 50% off at Starbucks: $10 gift card for $5 w/ email delivery – Sold Out, sorry about the mix-up

Ondesoft Mac Bundle with X-Mirage, iTunes Converter, Audiobook Converter and more: free ($146 value)

$50 iTunes gift card for $40 shipped: save 20% on apps, music, movies and more

Restaurant and apparel gift cards 20% off: JCPenney, T.G.I. Friday’s, Legal Seafood, Steak n’ Shake, Jiffy Lube, more

Father’s Day: Tommy Hilfiger, Nordstrom, more up to 50% off, DEWALT tools & gift cards from 20% off, more

Giveaway: The DODOcase $80 Apple Watch and iPhone charging solution stands out

More new gear from today:

Daily Deals: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-inch SATA III Internal SSD $90, more

More deals still alive:

New Games/Apps: popular puzzler Threes! goes free-to-play the right way & Drop the Chicken 2 releases at 50% off

Sony MDR-7506 Professional Folding Headphones $70 shipped (Reg. $100)

New products & more:

Oculus finally unveils the retail version of its Rift VR headset

These Multisport Biometric Headphones are a fitness tracker and Bluetooth headset

Starbucks Stories May 18, 2015

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Ahead of the highly anticipated launch of Apple’s streaming music service next month, Spotify today has revealed a new agreement with longtime Apple partner Starbucks. Spotify will team up with the coffee giant to offer enhanced music playback controls for both users and employees in 7,000 U.S.-based Starbucks locations.

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Starbucks Stories May 14, 2015

starbucks

Starbucks has confirmed multiple reports of users of its smartphone app having three-figure sums stolen from their accounts in the form of gift certificates, reports CNN.

One user lost $550 in a matter of minutes, his account auto-reloaded each time it was emptied by a hacker sending a series of $50 gift cards. Other users have also reported three-figure losses within a matter of seconds or minutes …  expand full story

Starbucks Stories March 19, 2015

Man using/working on laptop computer

Update: Both 11/9 and my second technothriller, The Billion Dollar Heist, are now available on Amazon.

Of all the stereotypes we hear about Apple owners, there is perhaps none so enduring as the guy writing a novel on his MacBook in Starbucks. Well, one November, I became that guy. Fast-forward a few years, and I have a 110,000-word technothriller ready to unleash on an unsuspecting public.

I’d had an idea for a novel years earlier, but I’d initially done what almost everyone does when they have an idea for a novel: absolutely nothing. The gap between having an idea and having a completed novel seemed too enormous to contemplate, especially when it would have to be combined with, you know, working for a living.

But then someone told me about something called NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. Every November, around 400,000 people across the USA, UK, Canada and a number of other countries around the world attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel. I decided to become one of them–using Apple technology, naturally …  expand full story

Starbucks Stories February 11, 2015

Apple announced Starbucks as an Apple Pay partner when it unveiled the mobile payment system last fall, and today the coffee chain is beginning to roll out support for Apple Pay through the latest version of its iPhone app.

While Starbucks does not yet accept Apple Pay in its brick-and-mortar stores, customers have long been able to pay with the iPhone app in stores using a digital Starbucks Card barcode scanned by a barista. Starting today, customers can load credit to a Starbucks Card within the app using Apple Pay as a payment method. expand full story

Starbucks Stories December 3, 2014

The official Starbucks app for iOS has gotten an over-the-air update that enabled the ability to place an order right from the app, but only for users in Portland, Oregon. Users will now be able to create an order and pay for it directly from their phones, and find their coffee waiting for them at the counter when they arrive.

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Starbucks Stories September 28, 2014

Apple-FT-Trouble-Brussels

It looks like this week’s Apple “xxx-gate” is a big one with the Financial Times reporting that the European Commision is about to come down hard on Apple for its long held tax avoidance strategies in Ireland.

Typically the EU has used its state aid powers to address broader competition issues. But in the past year Brussels has attempted to target the tax affairs of companies such as Apple, Starbucks and Amazon. It is a novel application of the law with far-reaching implications, not just for the companies, or EU countries, but for EU-US relations in general.

This week the European Commission will publish the first findings in the Apple case. The details – including evidence from bygone tax negotiations – are likely to be explosive.

The US is no happier with Apple’s use of specially created Irish tax loopholes which allow it to avoid paying taxes it would otherwise be due. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other execs faced Senate Subcommittee questioning in May in which focused on Apple’s tax avoidance schemes.

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Did Apple apply pressure to Irish authorities in 1991 and again in 2007 when negotiating tax deals and if so were these illegal competitive measures that gave Apple advantages over competitors? Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance chief, of course denies any wrongdoing… expand full story

Starbucks Stories August 26, 2014

Starbucks offers one free month of Lumosity’s premium service as first in-app purchase Pick of the Week

Starbucks has been continuously updating how its customers can redeem its iconic Pick of the Week promotion. Last year, the chain started offering digital Pick of the Week through the Starbucks app. Starbucks then updated its app to support redeeming Pick of the Week cards with the device’s camera. Now for the first time, the Starbucks App is offering an in-app purchase as its Pick of the Week: a month of Lumosity‘s service.

The Lumosity app contains several different brain teasers that are based on neuropsychological and cognitive tasks designed to challenge users. The premium subscription is worth $15 and includes more than 40 games online, performance tracking, a personalized brain training experience with daily exercises, and comparison to others in the same age group.

This promotion will expire on November 18th and has to be activated on an iPhone or an iPod Touch via the Starbucks app. Once it is activated, the premium features will be available on all platforms.

Starbucks Stories June 11, 2014

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Starbucks, in partnership with Duracell, is starting a nationwide rollout of a wireless charging system for smartphones. The system is powered by Duracell’s Powermat technology, which we reviewed last July (starting at $3.50). The program will place 100,000 of the Duracell chargers at specially-marked tables in each Starbucks location. Users would then be able to charge any phone using a compatible wireless charging system.

So far the program has only rolled out in a few stores, but it’s scheduled to reach more markets by next year. There’s not a timetable yet for when the rollout will be complete.

While the program is only available in a few stores right now, a page on the website for the initiative lists locations where the service is currently offered.

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Apple responds to EU investigation into tax practices: “Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe”

Following a report yesterday that the European Commission was about to launch a formal investigation into Apple’s tax practices in Ireland, the EU has now officially announced the investigation at a press conference. Bloomberg reports that the investigation will include not just Apple, but also Starbucks and Fiat Finance & Trade SA and will look at “whether the tax deals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are illegal state aid.” 

“Special secret deals should be outlawed across the EU,” Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said in an e-mailed statement. “All tax breaks and reliefs should be openly available for qualifying businesses.”

“We need to fight against aggressive tax planning,” Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner, said at a press conference in Brussels. He said it’s “still too soon to anticipate” possible recovery if the EU finds the tax rulings to be illegal.

Apple responded with a statement to Bloomberg following the news claiming that it “pays every euro of every tax that we owe” and that it “received no selective treatment from Irish officials.” Apple’s full statement is below:

“Apple pays every euro of every tax that we owe,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland.”

Apple last year faced a U.S. Senate hearing on its offshore tax practices in which it denied taking advantage of any tax loopholes in Ireland. The SEC also closed its own investigation without establishing any wrong-doing in October of last year.

Starbucks Stories May 20, 2014

Starbucks offering free iTunes download of Coldplay’s new song via iPhone app

Coldplay’s highly anticipated album Ghost Stories became available in its entirety on iTunes Radio First Play last week, and was finally released to the public yesterday. Now, Starbucks is partnering with the British band to offer a free track off of the album as its Pick of the Week. By downloading and opening the Starbucks app for iOS, the opening track off of the album, “Always in My Head,” can be downloaded for absolutely free. Simply launch the app and head to the “messages” interface, in which you should have a new message offering the song for free.

Starbucks Stories March 20, 2014

We’ve already seen Starbucks show off a new way to pay and tip your barista in the long-awaited update to its iPhone app it previously announced, and today it is finally available and features a brand new design for iOS 7 when buying your latte.

starbucks-3.0_1xPreviously, the Starbucks app featured a number of various tabs on the bottom navigation bar, but the updated version has been dramatically simplified to focus on three main sections under the headers Pay, Stores, and Gift.

Reward member profiles, messages, and Pick of the Week content is now featured in a clean view with the app’s new tip feature as well.

The update also comes with a new icon to represent the refreshed design of the app. expand full story

Starbucks Stories March 12, 2014

Starbucks app adds shake-to-pay and tipping that lets you change your mind

An updated version of the Starbucks app expected next week will add a shake-to-pay feature and let you add a tip of between 50 cents and $2, reports Engadget.

Shake-to-pay just means that if you’re on another screen of the app when you get to the front of the queue, you can simply shake your iPhone to bring up the barcode instantly.

The tipping function allows you to adjust the amount of your tip for up to two hours afterwards, presumably in case they manage to spill your second cup of Americano or the barista creates a particularly artistic piece of latte art for you.

The current free Starbucks app, incidentally, is Sleep Cycle alarm clock, normally $0.99.

Starbucks Stories February 20, 2014

Google testing app that lets you automatically join WiFi hotspots, plans to roll out hotspots in US/Canada

Engadget reports that Google has been testing a new iOS and Android app at its Mountain View campus recently that would allow users to automatically join public WiFi hotspots without going through the usual log-in process. Google is apparently considering using the app in connection with its recently announced deal to provide WiFi to 7000 Starbucks locations in the US:

According to our sources, the search giant has built Android and iOS versions of an app that automatically authenticate and connect to its free hotspots inside Starbucks stores or wherever they are available. Google is currently trialling the Android app at its Mountain View HQ and has plans to offer an iOS app too.

Perhaps more interesting is Engadget’s claim that Google has “specific plans” to roll out more Google WiFi hotspots in the US and Canada as part of the ongoing “Google WiFi” effort it first launched in Mountain View back in 2006.

The report adds that the app could link to a user’s Google account and “install a dedicated security certificate on their device to automatically authenticate devices when a connection is available.” Engadget says an expanded partnership with Boingo is also a possibility:

Google may also expand its partnership with Boingo, extending logins to locations where it’s footing the bill for free wireless.

Google plans to have its WiFi rolled out at all 7000 Starbucks locations by the end of the year.

(image via ABC)

Starbucks Stories January 16, 2014

Starbucks confirms that its iOS app stores passwords in plain text

Starbucks has confirmed a finding by security researcher Daniel Wood that both username and password in its iOS app are stored in plain text.

It’s not the big deal some are making it out to be – to make use of it, someone would need physical access to your unlocked iPhone, in which case you likely have bigger things to worry about than someone being able to order tall skinny lattes on your dime. Additionally, as Engadget observes, a far easier hack by someone with access to your phone would simply be to take a photo of the on-screen barcode used to authorise payments.

All the same, it is pretty poor design on the part of a payment app from a major company, and it’s surprising that Starbucks apparently has no plans to fix it with an updated app.

Starbucks Stories January 2, 2014

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Starbucks, this week, updated their iconic Pick of the Week promotion to take advantage of iOS 7’s ability to use the device’s camera to redeem iTunes gift cards. Before that, customers had to pick up a physical card featuring a promo code to redeem the Pick of the Week app and manually type the code into the iTunes Store. Earlier this year, Starbucks began offering the promotion via an App Store app. The pick of the week promotion allows customers pickup cards from participating Starbucks locations and download an app or other piece of iTunes media for free:

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Starbucks Stories November 6, 2013

9to5Toys Last Call: Radio Shack Black Friday ad, video games, iPad Air cases, Starbucks gift card 50% off, more

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Radio Shack Black Friday ad leak: Beats Pill, Apple TV, Roku 2, PS3/Xbox 360 consoles

Game/App Deals: Arkham Asylum: $1, Arkham City: $5, 250 GB Xbox 360 console w/ 2 games & $50 GC, $20 off Xbox Gold, iOS freebies, Call of Duty: Ghosts $45, more

  • BoxWave Blackout Case with Glossy and Black Matte Finish for iPad Air $8 shipped
  • CaseCrown Bold Standby Pro iPad Air case (multiple colors) $5 shipped

Other great deals from today:

The best deals that are still alive:

Mac software bundles:

New product announcements & reviews:

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