Sunday, July 25, 2010

Starbucks on the Go

For those of you who know me, this isn't a big surprise, but I love Starbucks. I mean, I love Starbucks. I'm that person who walks in and is greeted with, "You want the usual?" Yes. I'm addicted and predictable. I am not ashamed.

Ever since Starbucks introduced their new rewards program—My Starbucks Rewards—I've been forced to use a pre-loaded card to buy my delicious drinks. Rather inconvenient, especially if I've got cash but my card is empty, because then I can't get a star and my purchase doesn't go toward earning my free drink. However, this became a lot less inconvenient when Starbucks introduced their Starbucks Card Mobile App. Which is the first of the two mobile apps I'm promoting/reviewing/recommending. 

Warning: This post contains a gratuitous amount of screen-caps. 
Consider yourself warned. ;-)

Starbucks Card Mobile App

The Starbucks Card Mobile App is handy for so many reasons! First, if you have a registered Starbucks card, you can add it to the app. I have three cards on mine; not sure if there's a limit, but I bet that wouldn't be a problem for most people. After you add your cards, you can check your card balance—and if you're runnin' on empty, you can even reload 'em right from your iPhone. I can't tell you how many times I added a quick five bucks to my card while I waited in line. Super handy!

Another cool thing you can do with the Starbucks mobile app is pay for your coffee with your iPhone! Literally! This isn't available at every location yet. According to the app, there are 1017 stores participating. But basically what it does is put up a barcode on your screen that can be scanned. I haven't had the chance to try this myself, but I'm pretty stoked to try it out.

You can also track your stars, or rewards. Every time you use your registered Starbucks card to make a purchase, you earn a star. After 15 stars, Starbucks mails you a coupon for a free drink. (Side note: I'd LOVE to see Starbucks implement a non-snail-mail version of their Free Drink coupon.) It's nice to be able to keep up with how many drinks short you are from getting your next free one. Just sayin'...

Check your balance.
As you can see, I've been broke since May...

Reload right from your phone!

Pay for your coffee...
using your iPhone!

Check your stars!
I have a ways to go.

myStarbucks App

The other app on my agenda is the myStarbucks App. This app has a bunch of cool features. The "My Starbucks" page shows you things you've favorited: Stores, drinks, coffees, and food. So when you find your new favorite store, or the best Frappuccino since sliced bread, you can add it to your favorites and not have to browse for it all over again.

Under "Stores," you can search for Starbucks locations near you. Or even near where you're going. Say I was taking a trip to Austin. I could plan ahead and know where I'd be able to stop and grab some coffee on the road. When you find a store, you can also check their hours of operation, which is admittedly very helpful. Especially if you're on the road early or late. Instead of getting off the highway, or going out of your way only to find out that particular Starbucks is closed, you can know before you go. Added bonus? You can invite your friends to that location! If you decide to invite them, it'll send out a text message to anyone you choose from your phone contacts with an invitation to hook up for some drinks, plus the address of the location you're at! That gets a big thumbs up from me!

The myStarbucks App boasts a "Drink Builder," which is particularly handy if you tend to customize your drinks, like I do. Personal favorite—Mocha Frappuccino, add caramel, nix the whipped cream, give me both drizzles, please! You can create multiple favorite drinks, and if it's just too complicated for you to explain, show your friendly barista and they'll make it happen. The drink builder will also show you nutrition information, although I'm not 100% sure how accurately it reflects the drink customization. Still, not a bad ball-park idea if you're trying to watch your calories.

The "Coffees" page has a list of brewed coffees, when they're available, as well as a description of each kind. You can also "explore"their blends. Options like "smooth," "caramelly," "intense," etc. will help you find the flavor that's right for you!

Lastly, "Food." This page lists off the foods that Starbucks serves, along with what time of year they're served, nutrition info, allergens, and even pairing suggestions.

myStarbucks Mobile App.

My myStarbucks homepage.
Where I keep my favorites!

The hours for the Starbucks closest to me.
Isn't 9 like, super early to close?!

Meet me! Well, in theory...

The Drink Builder.

Browse Starbucks' coffee blends.

Not sure what you want?

Food! These are just from the
"Breads & Bagels" page.

Pumpkin Bread! My guilty pleasure.

Both of these apps have come in super handy for me, a true Starbucks addict/fan/lover. And best of all, both of these apps are FREE. Check out the iTunes store, search "Starbucks" if you'd like to download them and test them out for yourself!


Melody206 said...

I don't use an iphone so pretty much those are new screens to me. That's impressive, so much you can do with the apps. Nice blog post!

Sarah Thomas said...

Thanks! I love these apps, I love Starbucks, I figured they deserved a shameless-promotion blog post. :-)

The Words Crafter said...

Hmmmm, you really are addicted! I should introduce you to a friend of mine, as well as my father in law. They practically mainline coffee, 'specially Starbucks! Fun reading :)

Sarah Thomas said...

Oh yes, I really am addicted. Haha. Gets pretty expensive, too, if I do say so myself—and I do.

Always love to meet fellow Starbucks junkies! Thank you for reading and commenting! It’s always very appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I, too, have an addiction. Lucozade is mine. Haha.

Tuesday's Child said...

I had NO idea a phone could do all that! Its pretty cool and amazing. It takes a simple cup a joe to a whole new level! :)

Sarah Thomas said...

@Matt—Haha we all have our addictions! ;-) Thanks for the comment!

@Tuesday’s Child—Right? It’s so handy! I love the App Store. And my iPhone. Life is so much easier now. I mean, I use my phone to pay bills, make sure I have money in the bank to go to the movies, check movie times, find Starbucks…. Among a million other things. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and commenting! It’s very much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Apple needs you are their payroll!

Sarah Thomas said...

I totally agree!!