Starbucks Joins the App Store

Coffee chain introduces new iPhone ordering app

The latest saga in Starbucks never-ending quest to rebrand itself turns to the iPhone.

The coffee megastore announced it has launched an iPhone app that will help coffee drinkers find the closest Starbucks and it is testing out a second app that will allow iPhone users to use their phones as a Starbucks card.

The second app is being tried out in 16 stores in Seattle and the Bay Area due to the high usage rates of both Starbucks cards and Apple products in those areas, a Starbucks spokeswoman said.

The app displays a scannable bar code on the screen that allows it to be used to pay for coffee and food. Coffee drinkers can also recharge their accounts on their apps. Starbucks says it has no plans of charging for either app right now or supporting them with advertisements.

The first app, which has already been released, allows users to also look at a menu and create a drink before heading to their favorite roaster.

The two apps are a first for Starbucks, who has previously limited its collaboration with Apple to ensure music played in the store could be purchased on iTunes. The Seattle-based coffee chain has recently been going through an overhaul to keep itself relevant during a difficult economy.

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