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Starbucks Locator picks up user enhancements and fixes in freshly brewed update

A few days ago, we reviewed Starbucks Locator 2.0, which is a swell little app for you coffee fiends out in the world. Sure, you could use Cortana, but there are benefits to having a dedicated app for a frequently used function, including greater functionality and, in this case, barcode scanning for your Starbucks Card.

This morning, version 2.1 has gone out and with it numerous fixes, improvements and refinements to the user experience.

Starbucks Locator 2.1

  • Full password protection (multi-character, 24 length max) 
  • Data Compression support (uses much less bandwidth per search) 
  • Zoomed in view for barcode 
  • 33% smaller! Reduced app size to 2MB. 
  • Added Delete context menu for the Cards list 
  • New logarithms to detect invalid characters in the card number. This prevents breaking barcode generation and bad scans at the store. 

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where tapping a map pin loaded bad data into the old details page. 
  • Fixed a problem loading the map in some countries where all the store have the same name 
  • Numerous tweaks 

We love detailed changelogs and this is a great example of that. Many of the improvements revolve around enhanced performance, less data usage and even the app itself is smaller. If you live in a large city, something like Starbucks Locator is a super useful app.

Why no Starbucks account support?

For those curious about why it cannot log in to your Starbucks account, it is not for want of the feature. Instead, there are security issues involved and the bigger fact that Starbucks does not condone third-party apps from accessing their database. Because of this, Starbucks does not have a proper API for developers to use. As the developer of Starbucks Locator, Lance McCarthy (Lanceloni), noted in comments:

"An app that lets you log into your account will get pulled quickly by Starbucks. I'm working on a way for the next update that won't violate the terms of service…Starbucks is diligent about third party apps that authenticate. This is for good reason, there is no OAuth, so you are actually giving the developer access to your password. The app then uses the password to authenticate you. This a big no-no."

Not only are there security issues, but indeed we have seen numerous third party Starbucks apps like SBUX Card and MyBucks get pulled from the Store due to this violation. McCarthy needs to tread carefully with Starbucks Locator, lest the same punishment happens for his app.

Regardless, Starbucks Locator 2.1 is a well-done update and a fun app to use for finding that coffee house.

Download Starbucks Locator for Windows Phone

QR: starbucks

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

22 Comments
  • I hate these companies that don't release APIs and also refuse to make an app for WP.
  • ^THIS^   maybe we can get someone that works for MS *cough*SAM*cough* to have MS contact Starbucks about making an app.  Because clearly Starbucks doesn't give a crap about what we say.  Maybe if someone from corp. MS talks to them, then maybe we can get an official app?  Mexico has 1, Russia has 1...why not the US?
  • What makes this perplexing is that they've released an official app in other countries, and are a featured partner for Microsoft Band integration. I would be interested to know if Daniel has any insight into why they haven't released an official app in the United States, because it seems contradictory at a superficial glance.
  • @Drewkkake:
    This!
    Microsoft has partnerships in place with almost any important company in some way or another. Still they are painfully unable to capitalize on these partnerships (remember for example how long it took to get an official Instagram app to Windows Phone, although Microsoft is "best friends" with Instagram's parent company Facebook?).
    [By the way: Does your name represent your favourite coffee flavour?]
  • Especially companies that are sitting (and founded) in Microsoft's backyard (Seattle).
  • I didn't know sbux and mybucks were pulled. Geez. I have them both installed. It's a shame Starbucks doesn't just put this issue to rest by releasing their own app or releasing APIs for third-party apps.
  • There is still BuckStar
  • That's what I'm using... Still working great
  • I'll have to check BuckStar out.
  • Seriously??? I paid for sbux!
  • I'm pretty sure you can get a refund for an app you paid for that's been pulled from the store.
  • I use BuckStar...which regularly gets updates and has full account support.
  • Right, but you understand the security concern about not supporting OAuth and sending passwords to this app? Also that there is a risk the app may get pulled at some time. Far be it for me to tell you what to be worried about, but I think people downloading these apps should be aware of these risks.
  • What's more sad is Starbucks has an official app for Mexico, Russia and other countries. They want you to only have iOS devices. How often do you walk into a Starbucks and see MacBooks? the two go hand in hand in the US. They will never learn that Microsoft phones are the more superior OS because they are being brain washed. http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/starbucks/5536d896-3b7f-48a9...  
  • An outstanding middle of the road experience:D
  • I can't think of a chain that needs a locator app less than Starbucks. We need an app for which places there ISN'T a Starbucks within sight! :)
  • Like Subway, that app hasn't been updated since 23/06/2013!
  • Inclined to agree. Would rather go somewhere where you can actually taste the coffee. Starbucks' lattes are no better than warm milk.
  • Don't drink at Starbucks, rather prefer going to my local cafe. Fresh ingredients (even know their suppliers as local butchers and green grocers are like 2 minutes away lol) and the people who work there are way more talkative and friendly.
  • Taylor Swift would be pleased
  • You gotta agree, "freshly brewed update for Starbucks app" is another level of wordplay. :D
  • @Drewkkake:
    This!
    Microsoft has partnerships in place with almost any important company in some way or another. Still they are painfully unable to capitalize on these partnerships (remember for example how long it took to get an official Instagram app to Windows Phone, although Microsoft is "best friends" with Instagram's parent company Facebook?). [By the way: Does your name represent your favourite coffee flavour?]