Although it was featured during Apple’s media events earlier this year when demonstrating Passbook, the Starbucks app wasn’t compatible with the new feature when iOS 6 was released last month. The Seattle-based coffee house chain tweeted that the update would come before the end of September but missed that deadline by a few days with the the update hitting the App Store last night. Version 2.4 of Starbucks adds Passbook and iOS 6 support and a few other changes and bug fixes, though it’s oddly lacking optimization for the iPhone 5’s larger screen still.
When you use the updated Starbucks app, you can add your registered Starbucks gift or Gold card to Passbook through a new menu option in the My Cards tab. Once you complete this process, you’ll see a virtual version of your card in Passbook complete with a code that the cashier can scan to complete your purchase and your card balance in the top right corner. If you designate favorite stores in the Starbucks app, these will be carried over to Passbook and you’ll get a push notification when you get near one of these stores if you’ve turned on “Show On Lock Screen” on the back of the card in Passbook.
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I went to a local Starbucks today to try it out (all in the name of work, I swear) and it worked flawlessly. I received an alert on my lock screen once I pulled into the parking lot telling me I was near one of my favorite Starbucks stores and the cashier had no problems scanning the code in Passbook. A few moments later, the balance in the top right corner of the Starbucks card in Passbook updated to show my updated balance, newly reduced thanks to my purchase of a grande Chai Tea Latte.
I have heard this isn’t working well for everyone, with one unfortunate user seeing his reward status get bumped back to a lower level completely after using Passbook at a Starbucks. So keep an eye on your balance and reward level just in case.