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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.
Chief Technology Officer, Gerri Martin-Flickinger, and Molly Liu, who is Starbucks’ Vice President of China Digital, said that the ability to gift coffee and other drinks through the iMessage service on iOS 10 (with Apple Pay support) will begin rolling out in April.
The Outlook add-in will allow non-Apple mobile users to gift drinks through Microsoft Outlook instead. It’s been a while since the company updated its app.
Dated March 6, the most recent update puts your Starbucks balance and available rewards to your wrist with brand new complications for Apple Watch.
Later this year, Starbucks will celebrate its 25th year as a publicly-traded company.
They’re claiming 13+ million Starbucks Rewards members and nine million mobile paying customers, with one out of three now using Mobile Order & Pay and more than $6 billion loaded onto prepaid Starbucks Cards in North America during 2016 alone.
Integration with Amazon Alexa and Ford vehicles is coming later this year.
If you own a Ford car equipped with SYNC 3, you’ll soon be be able to order your favorite Starbucks beverage on the go by saying something along the lines of “Alexa, ask Starbucks to start my order.”
As for the app’s AI-based virtual barista, it’s now available to more than 100,000 customers across the United States, the company said. The feature is currently rolling out to iOS customers with Android users being added “in subsequent releases.”