Come on, you have a line, and if you don’t, the person behind you likely wishes you did.
As an avid Starbucks coffee drinker, and supreme embracer of the company’s mobile features, I was in position to review Starbuck’s new mobile app last week given its launch on March 19, but the NCAA games lured me away.
Should you get it? The perks associated with the Starbucks Rewards program, bevy of promotions and the convenience this app brings to my everyday routine, place it in my top 5 most used apps.
Recently Starbucks redesigned its mobile app, serving up digital tipping and shake to pay options. However the primary function of the app remains, the ability to pay using your mobile device, though only at participating Starbucks locations. I’ve been caught off guard at a Target store or two, which is a bummer given the app’s scan feature earns users free food and drink through the Starbucks Rewards program.
In addition to still being able to track these rewards, check balances, reload your card and even consolidate all those stocking-stuffer gift cards into one place, the new app now allows you to thank your baristas without having to scavenger hunt through your car console or pat down your back pockets.
The digital tipping feature is the biggest addition to the new Starbucks app. After paying you can select $.50, $1.00 or $2.00. If you forget, and now you’re on the train heading to work, you have up to two hours before the transaction closes out. Though I wonder if this window will become a security concern?
The only other negative I have to report is, even while the new Starbucks app still connects to Passbook, has the ability to email gift cards and notifies me of the free iTunes music download each week, the actual “content” on this app has been removed.
In a major effort to streamline this edition the entire menu is no longer. No more descriptions or favorites lists, not even a single nutrition fact.
Oh well. I bet the marketers at Starbucks have calculated that the customers religiously using the app already have their line down.
If the changes to the Starbucks app aren’t your cup of tea, New England favorite Dunkin’ Donuts of course has a mobile app. Similar to the Starbucks’ Rewards Plan, the app can be used with the DD Perks plan, which allows customers to earn points for every dollar spent.
Or if you like to brew at home, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has an app called K-Cup Finder, used to find hundreds of K-Cups including Tully’s and Barista Prima. Plus, when you share reviews with other K-Cup Finder users, you’ll receive promotions and discounts.
Since not every company recognizes March Madness as a holiday like Boston software company, Backupify, this week we’ll explore a mobile app to help you embrace the college basketball teams you love. Now even if you’re stuck behind an office desk, you’ll have unlimited access to the 2014 NCAA Division games.
NCAA March Madness Live by NCAA Digital
Price: The APP is free, as is watching any of the CBS games, but please note you’ll need a TV subscription for games broadcasting on TBS, TNT and truTV. However, you can access a 3-hour live video pass.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android
Should you get it? The app is a class-act. It's the heartbreak (Dayton Stuns Syracuse 55-53) I could do without.
Schedules and brackets are clearly displayed, and clicking practically anywhere provides more in-depth information about the teams, players and individual games including a breakdown of the apps Four Factors of Success: shooting, turnovers, rebounds and free throws.
The NCAA March Madness Live app also keeps viewers extremely connected to social, gathering a stream of real-time Key Moments and Fan Chats across Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for each game.
Fans can also participate in the NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge by logging in to track picks and achievements, as well as schedule Notifications to stay up to date on the action.
But probably my favorite feature is the News section that houses a collection of beautifully produced short, shareable Video Recaps that provide highlights for each game - perfect for re-living that big shot!
Now to your Most Downloaded iPhone and iPad Apps of the Week.
As a commuter into Boston I confess I’m subject to the occasional parking ticket. Instead of being at the mercy of finding parking in Boston while trying to avoid late appointment arrivals, sometimes it actually makes more sense for me to park and pay the fine later. The next day when the violation is registered at City Hall, I typically log onto the City of Boston.gov website to pay the fine. However, I’ve now found a new way to repent for my parking sins by using the ZenTicket mobile app to pay my fee on the spot.
Price: Free App Download. $1 per parking ticket paid w/ TicketZen.
Platforms: Compatible w/ iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone5. TicketZen for Android is currently limited to Boston, MA for now. It’s also important to note TicketZen is only available in select cities.*
Should you get it? TicketZen made it to my iPhone home screen.
“Citizens who have a Boston parking ticket, can download the TicketZen app (for iOS and Android) and use it to scan and pay their ticket in a few taps, said Cort Johnson.
Johnson is one of the founders of Terrible Labs, a small team of website and mobile application developers who created TicketZen after Kayak co-founder Paul English tweeted about wanting an easier way to pay Boston parking tickets.
To use, choose a city and scan the barcode on your ticket with your smartphone camera. Next select a payment option and TicketZen submits your payment to the city for approval.
Through this partnership with city officials, TicketZen accesses Boston’s ticket database and notifies TicketZen users when the violation is available for payment. Users also receive a confirmation email from the city when their mobile payment is accepted and settled.
Repeat offender? The TicketZen app stores a user’s credit card information, negating the need to re-enter that string of digitals every time a payment is in order.
*TicketZen is currently available in Boston, Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and State College, PA, with support for 100+ cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia to be announced soon.
“Over the next year, we plan to roll out TicketZen to many other cities across the US,” cooed Johnson.
To see if your city is in the TicketZen launch roadmap, email hi@TicketZen.com.
The city of Boston should thank @ticketzen. Decided it was easier to pay with my phone than waste my time fighting a bogus ticket.— Tom Boates Everybody (@tomboates) December 22, 2013