Starbucks 'shakes' up its Android app with new tipping feature

Starbucks has updated its Android app for coffee drinkers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, adding a feature to let patrons add a tip to their baristas. Now, when you use the Starbucks app to pay for your drink, you can also add a tip amount with the payment so you don't need to tip with cash.

In addition to digital tipping, users can also now shake their phones to pay for their drinks.

All the standard Starbucks features are still present, including tracking of rewards, checking and reloading gift card balances, and finding stores and directions.

What do you think of the new Starbucks app? Let us know in the comments.

Chuong H Nguyen
  • I think swiping my card or giving five bucks and saying "keep the change" is still faster and without the need of a pointless app. I will never understand why people need 100 ways to pay for something..
  • For me, it means walking to Starbucks and knowing I don't need to bring my wallet. I already have my phone available, i just tap the widget to launch the app and I've paid. The tipping can be done for a short period after you purchase, too, meaning you can actually tip based on the quality of your drink rather than up-front.
  • Sounds crazy to me, I'd never leave home without my wallet that has a photo ID, health insurance card and other forms of payment (ex. credit card and cash). My phone on the other hand is nice to have but I can get by without it. :)
  • Exactly! I'm a security guard, and it's astonishing how many people go out in public w/o an ID! Posted via the Android Central App
  • PAPERS, PLEASE! Posted via Android Central App
  • People who Go out in public without an ID bothers you!
    Zieg Heil!
    I'll always carry my papers!
  • Just saying it's strange is all. There are 3 things you don't leave your house without, keys, wallet, and cellphone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Unless I'm operating a motor vehicle, purchasing a controlled substance (alcohol, tobacco) or going to an age-restricted place such as a nightclub then why do I need to have picture ID? My check/debit card has my picture on it, so I generally don't need ID to verify purchases (unless the cashier is uptight about following the rules).
  • Well when I go for a run I use my phone for Music and in case I don't miss a call. On the way back home I stop at Starbucks for a coffee. I'd stop to do more shopping if more places accepted Google Wallet.
  • If you have a Pebble, Android Wear, Sony Smart Watch, etc. device, there are apps to display your bar code on your wrist. That way I don't even have to get my wallet or phone out of pocket. So nice! Also with my card linked to my account, I get a free drink every 12.
  • Because pushing up your sleeve and doing contortions to reach the scanner while the batista roles her eyes to the ceiling makes you feel so special.?
  • No actually its easier. I am in the drive through already reaching for my coffee so all they have to do is scan it. Not saying i'm special, but just giving a reason to have rewards and use a different payment method than using a card or cash. Up too early today are we?
  • I only have 10 ways, but that's still too few. Role Models move scene - Venti Coffee at Starbucks: ...all I can think of when Starbucks is mentioned Posted via Android Central App
  • The Reason for the app is because you get Free drinks for recharging the app. The app is way faster. Equal to NFC.
    They also give you a free drink on your bday as well.
    They also give away music and apps from within the app.
  • I not sure why people pay $5 for a cup of coffee. Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • Actually like $2.
    $5 sweet drinks with half a cup of syrup isn't coffee. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Nice Posted via Android Central App
  • Once you've got gold status you get free refill so your $3 coffee actually becomes closer to $1.50 or so, so definitely pays to app it. Posted via Android Central App
  • I thought that they had added this a while back.
  • iOS version got tipping a while back. Now the Android app follows suit.
  • i love paying with my phone at Starbucks. This app looks much cleaner and faster to use. Though, I won't be leaving digital tips.
  • You don't tip your barista? Posted via Android Central App
  • I'd only tip in a Idiocracy Starbucks. $5 for a cup of muddy coffee should make it possible for the owners to pay a living wage. "Mr. Pink.jpg" Posted from my LG LS970 via "The Force"
  • Much better, the old app was terrible, Pretty big update here actually. Also, the app is more for their rewards program than anything else.
  • Why in god's name would I tip someone for doing their damn job? It isn't like Starbucks lackeys are being paid sub-standard servers wages after all.
  • Someone has never worked in the service industry. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What service are they providing? Do you tip people at fast food restaurants like McDonalds as well? Do you tip your cashier at grocery stores? I don't know anyone who does that. I only tip if someone waits on me, provides a service. I don't know why anyone would tip when you have to order at a counter, pick up your drink at a counter, and throw your drink away yourself when you're done. There is no service provided... just the drink you paid for. Unless Starbucks works completely differently where you are, I just don't get why anyone would tip at Starbucks. And I have never seen anyone else do it. The idea of tipping at Starbucks was unheard of by me until I saw this article.
  • You've never noticed the tip jars at the registers? They've been there for years and years and years. Though I do agree with your general premise. It's not like they're waiters at a restaurant making less than minimum wage and rely on tips to make up the difference. Although I do know several people that work at Starbucks and they also rely on those tips to help make ends meet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing tip jars with money in them. Never seen a person actually putting money in there though, but it must get there somehow, so I guess people do tip. Also, I don't think having a low paying job makes you entitled to tips. I worked as a maintenance guy at a large tennis club and never got tips, even though I would refill the water coolers on the courts for people and sweep the clay courts for them between sets and matches. I also worked as a cart pusher at Walmart and didn't receive tips. My wife works at a book store making low wage and is constantly helping people, yet she receives no tips. Sure, if you have extra money and feel like helping someone who makes a low wage out, by all means, that's great, but it shouldn't be a requirement or expectation just because the person doesn't make much money.
  • "What service are they providing? Do you tip people at fast food restaurants like McDonalds as well? Do you tip your cashier at grocery stores?" Thanks for this! I feel the same way. I actually hate going to places with Tip Jars. It makes me feel uneasy. I mean, if they're providing a service, I'm all for it. But if they sit behind a counter and make you "wait" in line and then make you "wait" for the food, why should I provide them with a Tip. In Texas we have Whataburger, and even though I've only personally tip them once in a while, I believe they deserve a Tip more than the people at Starbucks. You order your food, then you sit down and they bring it out to you along with Napkins and Ketchup and the like. There's also lots of Food Trailers and all them have Tip Jars as well. As a matter a fact I went to one today and they messed up my order and they want me to Tip them? Yeah, Ok. Man, if I handed out tips to every place I go, I'd be broker than I is now. This is preposterous!
  • I think this is a great feature. The Starbucks I go to before I go to work there are at least 6 baristas who know me by name, and know exactly what I want without me having to say one word. To me that's service. I never carry cash on me, so now I can leave a tip digitally. Technology is great! Posted via NSA Spy Van 37...... Free candy??
  • THANK you! I have always felt the exact same way. I, too, had never even heard of tipping Starbucks employees until this article. I feel like an ass now since I've been a hundred times and have never tipped them once. What are they doing for me, though? They're just making my's exactly the same as going to McDonald's and having them make my drink. I pay for the drink, not that PLUS paying them for telling me "Here is your drink, come pick it up!". Because of this reason, even after realizing I am apparently supposed to tip them, I most likely still will not. I am a poor college student here that already wastes enough money just going to starbucks and buying the sweet desserts (disguised as "coffee drinks") when I need a boost or have an exam...I'd be completely broke if I also tipped them every time. Person cutting my hair? Service for me, tip them. Bringing a pizza all the way to my house or any other food delivery? Service for me, tip them. Making my drink and then waiting for me to pick up my drink? No, no tip for you sir or madam. Sorry. :-/
  • Starbucks doesn't pay a living wage. As such, both you and I have to pay extra taxes so that they can eat food each day. This is called corporate welfare. When we as citizens have to pay someone's wage regardless whether we buy at that store or not. As for tipping, you do so when you receive "service", such as a restaurant or cab rides. You do it because we in the service trade will give better service to those who tip. Don't tip? Yeah, you'll wait forever for me to send you a taxi. If you tip my drivers, you'll go to the head of the line when I'm short on cars. Plus my drivers will go out of their way to give you the best service while you ride with them.... My drivers always have tissues, cough drops, gum, cigarettes, and anything else a tipper needs when sick or in need. The non tippers get pocket lint. Posted via Android Central App using the all new HTC One (m8)
  • So you tip at every store you buy something from then I assume? Grocery stores, fast food restaurants, Best Buy, clothing stores, etc... Starbucks employees are no more providing a service than employees at any store that sells anything.
  • I tip regularly, but you give tipping a bad name. A tip should be to reward good service, not required to receive the bare minimum of service and certainly not to receive reciprocal favors. When I'm in a restaurant and I don't get charged for something on purpose, it doesn't make me want to leave a bigger tip; it makes me want to not trust the server with my credit card. Whether I like the prices or not, sitting down and ordering off a menu starts an agreement between myself and the business to pay for what I consume. The server and I have a separate, more flexible agreement wherein they choose their tip amount through the quality of their service. A free drink isn't going to make me forget crappy service, but it will definitely make me forget good service. Posted via Android Central App
  • Glazedfaith, I agree with you. Tipping should be a reward for getting good service. But it doesn't work that way in real life. Say that you are a dispatcher for a car service (cheaper then a yellow cab). You have one driver a available, yet you get two phone calls, both are regular customers. Both take you 5 times a week. One tips $2 each time. The others doesn't. Who do you help first? And, what if a driver refuses to pick up the non tipper because they are always problematic, demanding, rude, and doesn't tip on top of that? Now what do you do?
    I know that when I drive, I go out of my way for all the regulars. But I go above and beyond for the people who take care of me. Posted via Android Central App using the all new HTC One (m8)
  • Nothing you just said relates at all to standing in line for coffee. The Starbucks clerk takes the order from the next person in line. They don't choose who to wait on based on who will tip more. I'm not saying not to tip them, but if you want to make an argument to do so at least come up with a better analogy. Posted via Android Central App
  • Not compatible with Nexus 5, but it is with Nexus 7, both running 4.4.4.
  • That's odd, I'm running it on my S3 running 4.4.4 (CM11).
  • I have been seeing this a lot recently. Of course I don't have any examples at the front of my mind.
  • Weird, updated on my Nexus 5 just fine.
  • Not compatible with LGG3 and when it was the barcode card was too small. What crap.
  • updated fine on my Nexus 5
  • I just got my Note 4 yesterday and Google Play won't even let me download the app. It has a note that says "this version is not compatible with this device" But I can't find any other version of the app anywhere so I don't know what to do.
  • Did you find a fix for this? Starbucks is not working for me either same problem. The same with office mobile.
  • It's got more of a cleaner interface, Guess they went with a more Material re-design. I don't know how the shake to pay feature works.
  • Finally it has been updated, long time coming. Loving the new style. Still a small glitch with the widget. Only shows standard green *$ card not your default card picture.
  • Every business wants a damn tip these days.. No.... Posted via Android Central App
  • I wonder if it's so that the company can afford to pay their employees shit wages or close to shit wages and claim that they will also receive tips; telling this when they are hired will allow them to hire more people than just saying "here is your shit wage". Life Time Fitness, for example, is the company I work for, and they are notorious for almost minimum wage and overworking their employees. However, they reel new-hires in by giving them a free membership to the club. It's like "you get tips"; just another incentive to work for us, just ignore that little unimportant thing over there called your crappy hourly rate.
  • Starbucks and coffee should never be used in the same sentence. Syrupy shit and Starbucks can be used though! Posted via the Android Central App
  • You know they do make just regular old coffee, right? Posted via the Android Central App
  • All of the indie hipster coffee places in Down Town LA serve what can best be described as Coffee flavored sweet tea. AT least at sbux I can get one with fat free milk and sugarfree mocha.
  • I mean, app aside. I know the service industry is tough, but baristas get tips now?! I could maybe see an extra dollar if they care enough to get my name right and explicitly call me to the pickup counter for my beverage (instead of just setting it down and me getting it when I notice it's done), but no Starbucks I've ever been to has done anything more than take my order and leave it on the counter for me. I mean, they don't even put in "condiments" for us, like sugar, etc.
  • Not compatible with LG G3? WTF, Starbucks? Posted via Android Central App
  • It is broken on L... worked fine before update. Jesus tap dancing Christ guys. Talk about 2 steps back...
  • Well, L isn't out yet how can a company be expected to support an OS not yet released? Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't, but the last version worked fine, so it means they broke something. It also stopped working for a coworker on an s4 w/ now launcher. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Warpdrive.......those jobs along with fastfood jobs were never designed to be a career, so work there , get experience and go college, better yourself....I love that term u use " corporate welfare"....those greedy rich people right ? You ever been offered a job by a poor person ? You are a union fed-liberal lovin idiot Posted via the Android Central App
  • Seriously, these are the jobs you work while educating/training yourself for something more skilled/specialized.
  • I personally believe and agree with transitional jobs and self-improvement through education, but any company that offers full time work and posts 6.7 billion a quarter in profits has an ethical obligation to pay a fair living wage. No more is required, but no less is demanded. More importantly, if you still feel that a college degree and hard work is all that you need to get ahead, you are either a baby boomer who fell asleep at the wheel or YOU are the idiot in this thread and need to volunteer for self-sterilization, if it's not too late. Unless you are a 1 percenter, (which, clearly you are not) then I'm going to ask....or beg, you to stop selling out your own people, pull your head out of your ass and see what's happening in our country right now. Oh, last thing... statistically speaking, you've never been offered a job by a rich person either. You work for a corporation, where they have outsourced any skill you posses and all you sell is your pathetic labor. Good deal orlando.
  • LOL, stopped working on a Co-workers S4 running 4.4.2 and Now Launcher. Good job sbux.
  • I wish they would allow users to share the same account. Why do I need to sigh up for one and my wife for another, when we could use a "family plan"? Posted via Android Central App
  • Let me know when they start using an NFC payment system and I don't have to download their app.
  • Update looks nice, like the new features but sadly, since I've been juicing I've cut down on my coffee drinking overall. Posted via Android Central App
  • No offense to baristas cause I know the job ain't easy.. however, seems to me like Starbucks should pay them enough to not need this process.
    Anyways, ever since McD's does frappe mocha better, faster, cheaper; I gave up Starbucks all together.
    McD's uses an industrial blender not a household..
  • Play store says this app is not compatible with my device. How can it be incompatible with a new G3? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I drink normal coffee from Starbucks every day. Really don't drink anything else. Its good, strong and rich. Love the app update looks great Posted via Android Central App
  • I don't tip baristas at franchise coffee joints, I think it's no different than tipping at McD's. Plus Starbuck's prices are actually high enough to pay their employees decent wages.
  • I don't mind throwing a quarter in a tip jar, but some places are getting a bit out of control with tip expectations. A sandwich chain in my area has an option to leave a 20% tip on the card reader screen. This isn't table service, and the clerks aren't making under minimum wage. Sorry Starbucks. Posted via Android Central App
  • I just find it funny to read how many comments were directed at leaving tips and had nothing to do with the app. I like the update. It finally looks right and functions properly.
  • App not available on my LG G3. Fail..........
  • Always looking for an angle to relieve of your cash. Posted via Android Central App
  • Wouldn't it be better all round if Starbucks just paid their staff a bit more, rather than expecting them to beg for tips?