A Frappuccino a day keeps the App Store at play.
The Wall Street Journal's Digits column details a pair of new Starbucks programs for Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners.
One app is vanilla-bean ho-hum: The myStarbucks program allows you to locate nearby Starbucks outlets and bookmark favorites. It also serves up nutritional information for those trying to avoid grande waistlines.
The second program is far more ambitious: It transforms any iPhone into a Starbucks card. When activated, it displays a bar code that can be scanned for purchases. It's being tested in only a handful of stores, but it delivers the gee-whiz buzz that Apple is known for and Starbucks craves.
Starbucks is certainly late to the App Store party. There are already plenty of third-party programs that offer many of the myStarbucks features. Other food retailers have beaten Starbucks to Apple's platform, with Chipotle Mexican Grill
Where is the mobile ordering feature from Starbucks? Why aren't these two apps being combined into one slick catch-all program? Where is my dearly departed chantico?
These questions will have to wait another day to be answered. The important thing is that Starbucks has arrived at Apple, even if it's fashionably late and tactfully incomplete.
What would you like to see included in the new Starbucks apps? Dream out loud in the comment box below.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Chipotle's B shares are a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle B and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has an iPhone loaded with free apps, and maybe four or five that he's paid for. He owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned here and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.