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Businesses IOS

Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS 40

qubezz writes For those who just can't wait in line, Starbucks announced today that the caffeinated city of Portland will be the first stop in the roll-out of an app for ordering drinks from your mobile device (iPhone only, Android anticipated in 2015). Not a delivery service — it appears your pre-paid drink will be waiting at the end of the bar for the asking. The cost? The app won't operate unless you allow it access to GPS location services, potentially turning every coffee consumer's device into a tracking beacon. For the rest, there's still the independent site mapping which Starbucks are currently open.
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Starbucks Testing Mobile Order and Pay In Portland On iOS

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  • For those who just can't help writing condescending opening lines... Isn't technology supposed to make our lives easier? This sounds darned convenient. I suspect location services are to ensure you're within range.
  • Starbucks has a valid interest in making sure the shop that makes your coffee is the same one you're going to walk into when you want to pick it up. That helps them avoid making drinks that will never be consumed and helps customers avoid accidentally ordering from the wrong location.

    They certainly could -- and very well might -- abuse access to your location data. But it's disingenuous to talk about such misuse without acknowledging that there is a perfectly valid reason from them to have that data during

  • Tracking Beacon? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) <mister.sketchNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 04, 2014 @09:27PM (#48527561)

    potentially turning every coffee consumer's device into a tracking beacon

    Sensationalize much? Maybe it's just to tell which Starbucks you're closest to so it know where to place the order or narrow down the nearby store results? That would be the more likely reason.

    Do people seriously think that any app requesting location services is turned into an always-on tracking beacon sending their every move back to Big Data(tm)?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Do people seriously think that any app requesting location services is turned into an always-on tracking beacon sending their every move back to Big Data(tm)?

      It won't be always on, but I'd be amazed if it uses an offline database to find the nearest cafe. You can bet that Starbucks is loving that data too, because a lot of people will make orders from home which tells them not only where they live but what demographic they are likely to be in, how far they are willing to travel etc. I expect they will see a lot of hits from university campuses too. Expect carpet bombing with flyers to follow.

      They can probably sell a lot of the data too. For example, say they not

  • by MrLogic17 ( 233498 ) on Thursday December 04, 2014 @10:34PM (#48527933) Journal

    I'm seeing single-store apps to order & pay all over the place. Wendy's, Burger King, now Starbucks...

    Why would I want to have a different app for every single store I visit? That's why I have cash & common credit cards - they work everywhere.

    Do not want. Doomed to fail.

    • Have you tried their app? I happen to live in Portland and work downtown.. the Starbucks at US Banc Corp Tower is probably the busiest in the city -- ordering ahead already saved me about 20 minutes last week.

      Doomed to fail.

      Its been a massive success for both employees and customers. This IS the way regulars will order for the foreseeable future.

      Enjoy your wait in line.

  • Seriously. Why even bother with the Pacific NW? They should try to pilot that on the Charbucks zombies in dense flyover country. Or the mid-west.

  • They've 'managed' [in all the senses] to avoid paying taxes in the UK, so there's no reason to buy their weak, frothy, expensive, faux-hip coffee from them. Go away.
  • They could have probably achieved the same thing by just having people use their wifi service? No GPS needed. The bonus is devices such as tablets could be used too. Sure it would mean needing to sign into wifi, but maybe giving people choice between wifi and GPS?

    Maybe as an extension, they could even have someone walk the line, in busy locations, taking orders on a tablet, equipped with a card reader?

    • They could have probably achieved the same thing by just having people use their wifi service? No GPS needed. The bonus is devices such as tablets could be used too. Sure it would mean needing to sign into wifi, but maybe giving people choice between wifi and GPS?

      Maybe as an extension, they could even have someone walk the line, in busy locations, taking orders on a tablet, equipped with a card reader?

      The wait in most coffee shops isn't the time to place your order, but to fill your order. Unless you're having just a straight pre-brewed cup of coffee, they aren't going to speed things up by using an iPad to take your order in line. If they do order favorites, for instance, you might be able to one tap your coffee order when you know you're about 5 minutes out from the store and walk right in and pick it up. If I'm already in the store, I'd rather just go to the front of the line and flirt with the cut

    • You wouldn't even have to use their wifi service. Being in range of the hotspot's MAC address is sufficient. Although I know iOS has locked this down and it's unavailable, I'm pretty sure you can do this on Android. At 6 bytes per MAC, you could store the hotspots for every Starbucks in the US in the app with only 70KB. Or of course you could do a network lookup of the nearby access points with the correct name, but why not avoid latency and only use that as a fallback.

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      They could have probably achieved the same thing by just having people use their wifi service?

      The whole point of this is that you place your order before you arrive at the store. The user wouldn't normally be in range of the Wi-Fi network.

  • Not sure how this is newsworthy. This is what many stores already do. Panera comes to mind as well as Redbox and most big box stores with in store pickup, etc. Put in order and pickup time and pay for it with phone/cc details, then pick it up where you ordered it from. I think this should be more of an "it's about time" article.

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