12:52 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Use A BlackBerry To Order A Starbucks Latte

Starbucks and Research In Motion on Thursday announced a new Starbucks application for BlackBerries. The app lets BlackBerry users manage their Starbucks account and make purchases at select stores.

Smartphone apps can do that darndest things these days. The latest mobile app from Starbucks promises to make it easier to manage your caffeine fix.

The application -- officially called the Starbucks Card Mobile Application -- works in tandem with a Starbucks account and coffee-purchasing Starbucks card (both are required). The idea behind the application is to smooth out the pain of managing a Starbucks account online by making it accessible from the BlackBerry.

According to Starbucks, the application has five key features. It can be used to: Check Starbucks Card balance; Reload Starbucks Card account with any major credit card; Pay for Starbucks purchases using the mobile payment feature in more than 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target stores and in 16 trial Starbucks stores in Seattle and Northern California; Find nearby Starbucks stores with a store locator feature; and Check My Starbucks Rewards status.

Of all the features, the most interesting to me is the ability to pay for coffee at various stores. (Too bad you can't place and order wirelessly ahead of time so your Latte-Whip-tee-doo is ready when you arrive.) Odd that the mobile payment feature can be used at over 1,000 Starbucks-within-a-Target locations, but only 16 independent Starbucks locations.

"Expanding our mobile footprint gives our customers another way to connect with Starbucks on the go and transforms the way our customers see and use their Starbucks Card," said Brady Brewer, vice president Starbucks Card and Loyalty, in a prepared statement. "Launching the Starbucks Card Mobile app for BlackBerry smartphones opens up mobile payment and other features to a new group of our customers, and is the next step in our continued mobile expansion."

According to Starbucks, registered Starbucks card owners can earn stars based on purchases (at participating stores) that will eventually lead to rewards. Starbucks says that nearly 20% of all transactions at its stores are made with the Starbucks card.

The Starbucks Card Mobile Application is a free download for users of the BlackBerry 8800, 8820; Bold 9000, 9650, 9700; Curve 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350i, 8520, 8530, 8900; Storm 9530; Storm2 9550; and Tour 9630.

Starbucks already offers an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

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