Starbucks pushes out Android app, prepping mobile payments at Safeway

Starbucks' mobile payment app has already been embraced by many iPhone users, and now Android smartphone owners are finally getting a crack at paying for a frappuccino with their phones.

Starbucks' mobile payment app has already been embraced by many iPhone users, and now Android smartphone owners are finally getting a crack at paying for a frappuccino with their phones.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the iOS version won't be too surprised with the Android edition as it looks and works exactly the same.

Users can tether a gift card to a credit card for autoload or choose to reload funds to the gift card manually. That gift card info is entered into the app, and then a barcode appears on the display to be scanned at Starbucks registers when paying for coffee, pastries or those delicious turkey bacon on English muffin breakfast sandwiches. Other little features include finding the closest Starbucks using the phone's built-in GPS function and checking Starbucks Rewards points.

The Starbucks for Android app is available to download from the Android Market now for free. The only other hardware requirement is that the smartphone needs to be running Android 2.1 or higher.

Starbucks is expanding support for the mobile payment app to its locations in 1,000 Safeway stores nationwide. Patrons can already pay with the app at 6,800 standalone U.S. Starbucks locations and over 1,000 Starbucks cafes inside Target stores.

Personally, I love this app as it's so convenient. I'm usually checking email or Facebook on my iPhone while waiting in line anyway. It's much simpler to pay with this app when my phone is already out and ready to go than fiddling around in my bag looking for my wallet while everyone behind me is waiting for me to hurry up. Apparently I'm not alone either as one in five transactions in U.S. Starbucks cafes are paid for using the Starbucks mobile app.

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