iPhone users will soon be able to gift Starbucks cards to each other through Apple’s Messages app.
Starbucks revealed the new feature during the company’ investors conference this week, revealing that the functionality will arrive in April. The company also indicated that its virtual barista app, which lets users place orders via speech interaction, will expand to more customers beyond the 100,000 already involved in its beta test.
Building on that IoT theme, Starbucks also revealed that an integration in partnership with Amazon’s Alexa and automaker Ford will soon allow users to place their Starbucks orders from the comfort of their Ford cars. That functionality echoes Apple’s (and PayPal’s) recent pioneering efforts with Jaguar and Shell to enable in-car purchases at the latter’s gas stations.
It all points to the burgeoning proliferation of digital commerce in the Internet of Things as more and more devices go online, with IT heavyweights like Apple and Amazon seeing new opportunities to place themselves in the middle of the trend.