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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 23, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Starbucks pulls double shot of iPhone Apps: find and pay

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard about Starbucks working with Apple, but the coffee giant today is releasing two iPhone apps, including a mobile payment system it’s testing in Seattle and Silicon Valley.

The first app, “myStarbucks,” is a locator that shows where you can find a Starbucks in case there isn’t one across the street. It displays information such as whether a particular store has a drive-through, hot food or a Clover coffee machine. It can also be used to store and share favorite drinks and other items and check drinks’ nutritional details.

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The second app, “Starbucks Card Mobile,” brings the chain’s payment card to the iPhone and iPod touch. You can add money to your card account from the app, and spend it at Starbucks stores by rendering a 2-D barcode on the device’s screen.

Other apps are available to locate coffee shops and even display barcodes on mobile devices, but the Starbucks brand and promotions will probably drive a lot of downloads.

Both apps are free, and, no, you can’t use either one to order ahead and jump the line for a finished, pre-paid beverage.

A spokeswoman said the company looked at pre-ordering with the apps, but it’s difficult to be sure the timing will be just right, and that customers don’t arrive to find a cold, stale beverage sitting on the counter waiting for them.

Here’s the list of stores testing the “Starbucks Card Mobile” payment trial. In Seattle, they are at Key Tower, Columbia Center, 1st Interstate / Wells Fargo, 40th Floor Columbia Tower; Seventh & Stewart; Seventh & Pike; University Village II; and Madison Park.

The California stores include:

20520 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino

5180 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose

1037-C El Monte Ave., Mountain View

Shoreline & Pear, Mountain View

Castro @ High School, Mountain View

Miramonte & Cuesta, Mountain View

Charleston & Independence, Mountain View

1687 Hollenbeck Ave., Sunnyvale

Comments | More in | Topics: app, Apple, apple

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