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Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay 2.0: Cut through the queue

Make life less hectic!



When you’re an adult, coffee isn’t just a power-up drink helping you get through the day. It becomes an avenue for conversation, an invitation to meet people, a kick you need to fuel your creativity and productivity.

While there are several ways to brew coffee and there are different local neighborhood cafés to explore, Starbucks has always been within reach. And it has ingrained itself as an important part of my working life. A staple of the modern workforce’s culture. A lifestyle — tradition to an extent — that seeped in through the interstices of friendships and family.

When the pandemic struck, I started learning how to brew my own coffee. Occasionally, I order my caffeine fix through Grab or Foodpanda. But the experience isn’t the same.

Keyword: Experience. That’s precisely what Starbucks offers. So when Starbucks Philippines sent me a holiday card to try the new Mobile Order & Pay, a feature they had for a while that was rehashed, I decided it’s time to go out and try again.

Exploring the app

The Mobile Order & Pay 2.0 is available through the Starbucks app. If you’re a Starbucks lover, you probably have an account registered to Starbucks Rewards. The app is easy to use, particularly because of its clean user interface (UI) design.

Through the Starbucks app, you can check your account’s transaction history, monitor the stars collected via the Rewards program, and make some changes to your personal profile and payment methods. The app also has a lot of promotional materials, parading their latest drinks and treats that you can avail yourself of in-store or online.

Starbucks Mobile

And more importantly, you can reload your account, register your cards, and of course, get ahead of your day and order your favorite beverages.

Cut through the line

Once I got my cards settled in, I ordered my go-to drink: Cold brew topped with four pumps of white mocha sauce. I placed my order through the Mobile Order & Pay 2.0 feature, which gave me four options to pick up my order. Although, the options vary depending on the closest branch near you.

There’s the usual In-store pickup where you head straight to the pickup counter for your order. Yes, you won’t get in line anymore. When I tried this pickup option, everyone gave me looks when I went past the queue and headed straight to ask the Barista about my order. I had the audacity to ask about my drink because the app notified me when the order was ready.

Starbucks Mobile

When I got my drink, I walked out of the store feeling ravished. It felt like I was in a slow-mo montage of a coming-of-age film where the protagonist suddenly did something extraordinary. Frankly, this is my favorite pickup option. It makes so much sense to just get your orders if you can walk inside. And that gives you extra steps for your smartwatch to count. Get moving, people!

But if you don’t like the hassle of scanning your QR codes and getting your temperature checked, or the usual mumbo-jumbo you encounter inside a store, there are other pickup options outside.

Just wait outside

My other favorite option was the Outdoor pickup, which I chose when I was passing by Starbucks The Grove — my favorite branch in Pasig. I was dead-tired from a weekend night-out with my friends at Okada Manila, and the all-night casino adventure bled through a Monday morning.

I was on my way home, ready for work. Then, I realized I badly need the good ol’ Barista Drink. Nothing can beat an americano topped with white mocha sauce splashed with sub-breve (and no water!). Especially when it comes to waking you and your senses up. More importantly, you can have it served iced or hot depending on your preferences.

Starbucks Mobile

I placed my order when I was already in Arcovia City, a kilometer away from The Grove by Rockwell. Apparently, you can’t order ahead for an Outdoor pickup if you’re 3 kilometers away, which I tried to do when I was still in Taguig. So you have to be close to the branch if you want to place your order.

I tried to do the math in my head, calculating if I can pull over for a minute while I wait for my order. But I’m bad at numbers so I went ahead. The app said the order will be ready in five to six minutes anyway.

I pulled over when I arrived at the branch, and I didn’t wait long enough for one of my favorite baristas to come out to my chosen pickup point and hand me my order.

Stay in your car

I hate parking. Or wasting the time spent trying to park properly in between enormous SUVs. Or finding a spot to park your vehicle. This is why I don’t understand the Curbside pickup option, where the barista locates your designated parking slot and gives your order while practicing social and safe distancing.

I tried the pickup option in Starbucks Sierra Valley — a humongous, stand-alone branch with a massive parking space and drive-thru option found east of Metro Manila.

Starbucks Mobile

If you’re in a time crunch, this option really doesn’t make sense. But if you have a few moments to spare and you don’t want to get out of your vehicle for safety measures against the COVID-19 (and its variants), then the Curbside pickup is the way to go.

Frankly speaking, it doesn’t work for me. I know having your order brought to you is part of the experience, but I value my time. And it was against my morals to just sit inside my car and wait for the barista to come out and bring my order. In my head, they could be doing more valuable things than going outside the store, when I can pick up my order at their counter.

The In-store pickup is the fastest option in my experience, and I feel good doing the task instead of sitting and waiting around. I guess it’s my can-do attitude speaking, but that’s how I’m really built.

Drive through it

Now, there’s another option to get your order: Drive-thru pickup. You just have to line up in a queue of cars and wait for your turn. Like the Curbside pickup option, I didn’t like the Drive-thru pickup for one reason: It takes too long to get through the drive-thru window.

People are afraid to get out of their vehicles because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s valid. That’s why there are plenty of cars lining up to get their caffeine fix. I spent roughly 30 minutes waiting for my turn, which annoyed me since it would’ve been faster if I chose the In-store or Outdoor pickup.

Making life less hectic

Regardless of my rants and experience, the Mobile Order & Pay 2.0 lets you get your favorite treats and beverages conveniently. In the way you like it.

While I’ve loved the In-store and Outdoor pick-up because they work well with my personality and lifestyle, I know some people (read: friends) would enjoy the Curbside and Drive-thru pickup. Especially since they’re cautious about the pandemic.

Not that I’m not wary of the virus being out there, I just value my time because every second counts. If I wanted to waste my time waiting, I would’ve lined up inside.

Nevertheless, the rehashed feature is worth giving a try. Through the Starbucks app, you can customize your orders. Just like your baristas, the app can modify the size, the number of espresso shots, dairy selection, and various options for your order. All done with just a single tap on your smartphone.

Frankly speaking, the Mobile Pay & Order 2.0 made my life easier especially when I’m in a hurry to get a caffeine fix. Not all days can be spent brewing your coffee, living in a slowed-down lifestyle. Some days, we just need to get through it, and Starbucks knows how to accompany me through those days.

The Starbucks PH app is available on The App Store and Google’s Play Store.


X glitch misplaces most photos from 2014 and beyond

Only a few were restored



Archiving social media is a real problem today. Because most of public discourse happens through social media platforms, a single break in infrastructure can easily wipe out entire conversations and milestones in the modern era. Over the weekend, that exact scenario happened. A glitch on X reportedly erased most images and links from 2014 and beyond.

As spotted by Tom Coates on the platform, images from before December 2014 disappeared from the site. Likewise, links from the same period are also broken and lead nowhere. Among those that disappeared, one of the most notorious losses was a photo taken by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars — a tweet that garnered an enormous amount of retweets at the time.

X has not publicly commented on the supposed glitch. However, after the deletion was noticed, the platform restored the iconic Ellen DeGeneres photo to its full glory. It’s not a complete restoration, though. A lot of content are still missing.

The single photo’s restoration suggests that the content wasn’t outright deleted but rather misplaced. As some have pointed out, a few instances are still directly available from the servers. Users have also speculated that the glitch was intentionally done to free up valuable server space.

Regardless, the glitch — intentional or accidental — opens up an important issue on how the world can archive content on social media platforms. Despite how inane our conversations can be from day to day, losing a section of social media also means losing entire swaths of public discourse to the ether.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is rebranding to 𝕏

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WhatsApp now lets users share photos in HD

Video coming soon



Quickly sharing smartphone photography can be a chore. Not every messaging platform allows lossless media sharing. Often, a platform will sacrifice image quality for speed. Finally, WhatsApp is getting with the program and allowing users to send HD photos on the app.

Today, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially announced a new feature coming to WhatsApp. Starting now, the messaging platform is rolling out an update to enable HD image sharing.

According to WABetaInfo, the feature will bump up image quality to 4096 x 2692 resolution. Now, an upper limit naturally implies that there’s still compression going on, especially for photos taken at much higher resolutions. WhatsApp has not explained how compression will work under the new HD feature. However, it’s still a good improvement.

Alternatively, if users don’t want to handle the increase in storage or bandwidth use, they can continue to send images in standard quality. The option, once the app is updated, can be accessed by an HD icon when sending images.

Besides image sharing, WhatsApp is also working on adding HD sharing for videos. However, Zuckerberg did not share a timeframe for the improved version of the feature. The update should be rolling out now for WhatsApp users.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp is working on 32-people voice chats

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X is working on adding video chat to the app

Confirmed by the CEO



X is continuing its arduous trek to become an all-in-one app. This time, after reintroducing native livestreaming, the platform is moving towards the next natural evolution: video chat. X CEO Linda Yaccarino has officially announced that the feature will come to the platform soon.

In an interview with CNBC, Yaccarino, who took the reins from Elon Musk earlier this year, announced that “soon, you’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform.” As if that’s not enough, Andrea Conway, a designer at the company, also posted that she “just called someone on X.”

Given Conway’s post, the feature should be in a relatively stable part of the development process. However, it’s not clear when and how the platform plans to launch video chats for the public. It’s also unclear whether the feature will be available to all users or only to those who pay for X Premium, formerly known as Twitter Blue.

With the evolution of all social media platforms (and not just X), it’s not a surprising development for the company. The industry is dedicated to creating the next “everything” app or a hub where users can find everything they’ll need for their digital world: social media, communication, commerce, and other functionalities. TikTok, for instance, recently started tests to support podcasts.

SEE ALSO: X is bringing back livestreaming

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