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. 


  • 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

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Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.