Starbucks and the iPhone are sort of the perfect combination. You can browse the web for free on the AT&T hotspots, you can buy in-store songs from iTunes right from your phone, and now you can use two new official iPhone apps.
Now available in the App Store, myStarbucks (iTunes Link) and Starbucks Card Mobile (iTunes Link) let users find their nearest Starbucks and manage their Starbucks Card. If you live near one of 16 stores in the Seattle or Bay Area, you can even pay for your purchases with the Starbucks Card Mobile app via barcode.
Starbucks is a little late to the store-locator game, as a number of unofficial applications — both free and paid — already exist to show store locations or keep track of your Starbucks Card balance, but the official apps offer a lot of functionality, great design, and an unbeatable price — free.
In myStarbucks, you can find the locations near you, either by entering in your address or letting the app use your iPhone or iPod touch’s built-in GPS or WiFi locator. You can search for stores based on certain factors, like drive-thru, operating hours (are they open now) and what type of food they offer. You can also add a store to your favorite’s list and call the store directly from the app or invite people in your address book to join you for a latte.
One of the cooler features is the ability create your own drink configurations — hot and cold –and save them. The order is viewable and you can show it to a barista if you are in a hurry. Hopefully, the pay via iPhone option is rolled out across more locations, because combined with the drink configuration tool, it would certainly make grabbing coffee more convenient.
What do you think about store-branded iPhone apps? What are some of your favorites?