Starbucks has always been a last-ditch sanctuary for the connected in a largely-still-wireless world, but the free WiFi you can get there is often bloated with dozens of slackers, choking up the pipe with inappropriate Netflix streaming and large downloads.
But WiFi at Starbucks is about to get orders of magnitude better. Google has just announced that they are taking over WiFi at Starbucks, and will be the new exclusive provider of sweet, sweet Internet at over 7,000 Starbucks locations in the United States.
There’s nothing worse on a road trip than battling the ZZZ’s while driving (except maybe a jack rabbit destroying your vehicle), so a chain of coffee shops has created an app called Drive Awake that tracks a drivers’ drowsiness and directs them to the closest coffee shop whenever they nod off.
Drive Awake works by using the iPhone’s front-facing camera to monitor a drivers eyes. You simply mount your iPhone to your windshield and it tracks your retinas to see if they’re open. Once the app determines you’re falling asleep it emits a loud and annoying parrot squawk to get your attention and help you find some coffee.
I am not a psychic, but I have a good idea where you and your iPhone parted ways.
If you’re desperately seeking it on Craigslist, chances are you lost your device – or had it stolen – over the weekend, especially at night. And probably at some fun destination – shopping, the beach, a bar – or heading there on your usual means of transportation (the car, a gas station or parking lot, or bus).
The Starbucks Pick of the Week promotion has finally gone digital, allowing you to download free apps and books on your iOS devices without a card or redemption code. All you need now is the Starbucks app, which will allow you to download the latest giveaway when connected to an in-store Wi-Fi network.
During the historic 2007 iPhone keynote, Steve Jobs famously called a local Starbucks and made a prank order for 4,000 lattes… enough for everyone at the Moscone Center to enjoy. He then said, “Just kidding. Wrong number. Goodbye!”
Amusingly, that quick prank call to demonstrate the iPhone’s Maps and Phone apps is still resulting in prank calls six years later. And even more incredibly, the barista who originally took the call still works at that Starbucks!
Apple and Starbucks have parted with (RED) to help give a little back this holiday season. Buy a $15 iTunes + $15 Starbucks gift card combo online, and both companies will donate 5% of proceeds to help fund AIDS research.
(RED) has been a longtime partner with Apple. If you buy a red colored iPod from Apple, a small percentage of the sale also goes towards the fight to end AIDS. You can order a holiday gift card basket from Apple, Starbucks and (RED) now.
Back in August, Square partnered with Starbucks to bring mobile payments to the coffee giant’s thousands of stores nationwide. Starbucks said that Square would be integrated into 7,000 of its stores across the U.S. by early November, and now the time has come.
Square has the ability to open a virtual tab with a merchant so you don’t have to scan your iPhone at the register, but Starbucks isn’t adopting this functionality. You’ll have to scan your iPhone after you order, like Passbook.
While we knew that Square was coming to Starbucks sometime later this year, it’s now been revealed that the partnership is launching in early November. Instead of having to use your credit card or cash, you’ll be able to use the free Square app to pay for your skinny vanilla latte.
If you installed iOS 6 last week, you probably expected to be able to use your Starbucks rewards card in Passbook. For some unknown reason, Starbucks has not yet updated its iOS app with Passbook integration, but the company has confirmed that the update is coming “at the end of this month.”
Passbook, Apple’s approach to a virtual wallet in iOS 6, allows merchants to store coupons, tickets, passes and rewards cards in barcode form on an iOS device. Starbucks cardholders will be able to pay for their drinks and earn rewards with Passbook when the update comes out.