Starbucks iOS app adds support for Apple's Passbook

Starbucks customers can now use Passbook on their iOS 6 devices to pay for coffee, check their balance, and collect rewards.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

iOS 6 users who want to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks can now pay for it through their iPhones.

Launched yesterday, the latest update to the Starbucks iOS app stirs in support for Apple's Passbook.

Starbucks Card owners can add their accounts to Passbook directly through the app. Once that's done, customers can pay for food and beverages, check their card balances, reload the card with more cash, and add rewards to score free drinks, all through the iPhone.

Unveiled in iOS 6, Passbook lets users store electronic copies of tickets, coupons, boarding passes, and loyalty cards.

Like any new feature, Passbook will likely have to wait awhile before it gets adopted by more of the business world. But such companies as McDonald's, Airbnb, and Eventbrite have already updated their mobile apps to integrate Passbook.

Starbucks promised Passbook support before October but went a bit past its deadline in brewing up the feature.

The Starbucks app doesn't yet support the iPhone 5's 16:9 aspect ratio. So users are stuck with the 4:3 format with black bars on top and bottom. But now that Passbook support is cooking, maybe iPhone 5 optimization is next on Starbucks' menu.