It isn’t all that long ago that Starbucks announced its partnership with Spotify, allowing baristas to influence the music playing in-store. Today, we have news that Starbucks will join forces with The New York Times to bring selected news and content to Starbuck’s official app from 2016.
It used to be that when you went to Starbucks, you could pick up a card that gave you a free iTunes download, but it seems that will be coming to and end soon, which is no bad thing if you are an Android user. This is because Starbucks and Spotify have just entered into a multi-year agreement that will see the music subscription service become an integral part of the Starbucks experience. This partnership will see the 7,000 Starbucks locations in the U.S. linked with the approximate 60 million (global) Spotify subscribers, creating a ‘first of its kind ecosystem’.
In November, Starbucks made it known that its locations would feature wireless charging stations based on the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard. Devices with support for the PMA standard would benefit by Starbucks offering simple charging. Those without wireless charging (or of a different standard) would be able to purchase special adapters for Android and iOS devices. It started with two hundred Starbucks locations in San Francisco, but now the coffeehouse chain has expanded the wireless charging stations to the United Kingdom. The launch in the United Kingdom starts with ten locations in London and then it will spread throughout the country. No timetable has been provided for the expansion.
The folks over at Powermat Technologies are really happy these days. Why? Because Starbucks announced that it will adopt the developer’s Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard for wireless charging. The coffeehouse chain is launching 1,500 wireless charging stations at two hundred stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starbucks is rolling out these wireless charging stations to cities over time rather than doing it nationwide. Starbucks does not exactly say which cities or countries are ahead, but does clarify more will follow in 2015. This approach allows any problems to be identified and fixed before proceeding to the next city.
The Starbucks app has long provided a way to pay for your coffee with just your phone, but the company has much bigger plans for its mobile counterpart. Starting soon the coffee giant will start testing a new app that allows you to not only order from your mobile device but also get your coffee delivered. There are already numerous delivery service apps, but until now none of them included Starbucks. Details are still hazy but the thought of having Starbucks delivered is tantalizing to say the least. Starbucks founder Charles Shulz says the service could launch to Starbucks Loyalty customers in Portland as soon as next month. Let us know your thoughts in the comments and if you’ll be taking advantage of the upcoming service. This is even cooler than paying for coffee with your smartwatch.
If you frequent Starbucks and own an Android Wear smartwatch, you need to download Coffee Time right now. It was one of my favorite apps for the Sony SmartWatch 2, and the developer, Not Just 4 Time, has made it available for Android Wear.
Once you have downloaded the app, just open it on your phone and enter your Starbucks card number, then tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to send the card number to your watch.
Starbucks already offers WiFi access points for customers, but it looks like they’re going a step further and adding another technological convenience to their stores in the US: wireless charging mats. Duracell and Starbucks have made a joint announcement that they’ll be rolling out Duracell Powermat Spots that will be designated areas or tables where you can simply drop your (wireless charging-capable) device to juice up the battery while you wait for your coffee.
The rollout for the Powermats will start in Seattle and New York, and will gradually start hitting other stores over the year. Every store should have wireless charging stations implemented by 2015. Read more
Last month rumors surfaced that Google was exploring an app that would streamline the process of logging on to WiFi access points. An example of this would be at somewhere like a Starbucks, locations where Google is partnering to deploy their own access points providing better speeds than what had been available. Reports last month indicated Google was testing the app internally at their headquarters. New attempts to get updated information from Google about the initiative have proven fruitless as spokeswoman Jenna Wandres says “we don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” Read more
Google’s latest attempt at giving you free WiFi is coming in the form of Starbucks’ WiFi hotspots. Starbucks currently uses AT&T’s wireless service to give customers internet access, but Google is internally considering moving to put their own high-speed access into the 7000 Starbucks stores across the US. Google also wants to shorten up the tedious process of finding a hotspot, opening a browser, and accepting terms and conditions before finally being able to actually use the internet.
To accomplish this, Google is testing out an app that cuts that process down. The app would handle all of the encryption and authentication of a Google hotspot, so just by having it installed on your Android or iOS device, you could automatically connect to wireless internet whenever you were in range. Read more
If you use the official Starbucks mobile payment app, you may want to reconsider. According to security researcher Daniel Wood, the application stores information like your email address, password, and GPS location and an unencrypted plain-text format. Anyone who has access to your phone could do a bit of work to steal that information, which is not something you want someone else to have access to. Even worse, because the app makes payments using an on-screen barcode, that barcode method could be manipulated to suck money out of your bank account.
Fortunately, someone would need access to your phone to get this information, but it’s still a vulnerability that you should be aware of. Hopefully Starbucks addresses this soon.
source: Computer World