Starbucks rolls out iMessage app for gifting digital cards with Apple Pay support

As previously announced, Starbucks today updated its iPhone app with the ability to send gifts through Apple’s iMessage system and pay for them with Apple Pay directly in the Messages app. Named Starbucks Gifts, the software requires you to set up Apple Pay on your device before you can purchase gift cards in $5, $10 or $25 denominations. Today's update also brings notifications, a store location filter for the Nitro cold brew and other perks.

Starbucks will soon let you gift coffee via iMessage

During a shareholder meeting held this morning, Starbucks revealed its mobile app will soon gain the ability to send gifts in Apple's Messages app with Apple Pay. According to the official press release, a forthcoming update will also bring an Outlook add-in integration that will permit users who'd like to gift beverages through Microsoft Outlook to do just that. Additionally, the coffeehouse chain recently started rolling out its AI-powered digital barista.

Starbucks testing AI-powered digital barista assistant in iPhone app

You'll soon be able to order your favorite latte by using your voice as Starbucks today kicked off a limited beta test of a new artificial intelligence assistant inside its mobile app for iPhone. Aptly named My Starbucks Barista, this new feature will let you order items by conversing with the virtual barista within a new messaging UI, the firm said Monday.

Starbucks teams up with Pokémon GO as an official partner and adds more Pokéstops and gyms

Just yesterday, Niantic announced a partnership with Sprint to bring as many as 10,500 more Pokéstops and gyms to Pokémon GO, and today a similar partnership appears to be expanding to Starbucks coffee shops.

The announcement is a move to give players more flexibility in collecting necessary items to play the game, as well as to battle other players. Starbucks benefits out of the deal because it attracts potential customers to their locations.

Unicorn sipface and coffee “emojis” are cool, but Starbucks’s iPhone keyboard needs more work

Apparently, software keyboards for the iPhone have become a must for brands. Earlier this morning, Microsoft released Word Flow for iPhone, its gestural Windows 10 keyboard with one-handed typing and predictive text input.

And now, Starbucks has jumped on the bandwagon and released an iPhone keyboard of its own.

Available for free from the App Store, Starbucks Keyboard lets you add a little personality to your emails, texts, social media posts and more with branded “emojis” like Frappuccino blended beverages, iced tea, coffee and even a purple unicorn sipface.

It's a nicely done app that shows potential, but I dislike the fact that they're advertising it as an emoji keyboard because these things are more of stickers that get pasted as image attachments.

Spotify fans can now discover and save music playing overhead in U.S. Starbucks stores

Spotify and Starbucks on Tuesday announced a new partnership that permits visitors to identify music playing overhead in participating Starbucks stores.

The Sound of Starbucks, as it's called, also lets music lovers save identified songs to a playlist on Spotify.

This functionality and in-store overhead music experience is available starting today at select Starbucks location. The feature requires the latest version of the mobile Starbucks app and permission to use location services.

Starbucks app gets 3D Touch quick actions

Several major apps have added 3D Touch support earlier today. Wunderlist and LinkedIn, for example, have brought out support for Home screen shortcuts and Peek and Pop gestures within the app with 3D Touch. And now, Starbucks has issued a similarly-themed update to its iPhone application in the App Store.

With Starbucks 3.3.4 for iOS, you can press the app's Home screen icon lightly on your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus to bring up a 3D Touch menu with several quick actions: Nearby Stores, Order, Reload Card and Pay.

Starbucks will soon begin accepting Apple Pay

Starbucks fans rejoice! The popular coffee chain will soon support Apple Pay. Jennifer Bailey, the head of Apple's mobile payment arm, broke the news Thursday onstage at the Code/Mobile conference, telling Recode's Ina Fried that the launch is planned for early next year.

Note that this will be different than the current implementation of Apple Pay in the Starbucks app, which only really allows you to re-fill your Starbucks Card. In-store support of the payments service will allow users to pay for their coffee using their iPhone or Apple Watch.

Gorgeous puzzler Monument Valley is Starbucks’ Free App of the Week

If you haven't tried out Monument Valley yet, you're missing out on an unforgettable experience. This is quite easily one of the best, and certainly among the most beautifully done platform games available on the iPhone and iPad.

If you live in North America and are a fan of Starbucks, the unique game, which costs $3.99 in the App Store, can now be yours in exchange for zero bucks as it's currently Starbucks' Free App of the Week.

The surreal puzzler created by Ustwo, the team that brought us Blip Blup and Whale Trail, challenges you to manipulate impossible architecture and guide the silent princess Ida through a stunningly beautiful world.