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Starbucks' Mobile Ordering Launches in Portland

You now have permission to cut the line.


Starbucks may be Seattle based, but the coffee behemoth chose Portland to test out its mobile ordering program. And today, the program went live.

Now Starbucks drinkers who download the Starbucks app to their iphone can order and pay for their drinks and snacks with the click of a few buttons. Within minutes the order is ready at the store they've chosen. Users who already have the app just need to update it to get the extension. But Android users will have to wait until early 2015 to get in on the action.

Mobile ordering is expected to launch in other cities starting in early 2015, with the goal of eventually being available nationwide.

Eater, ever-curious, downloaded the app, dusted off an old Starbucks gift card to load onto it, and proceed to place an order. The GPS found a list of locations nearby and we chose the closest one. As we walked over, the app kept us informed on our order's progress, telling us when it would be "ready soon" and then when it was actually ready and waiting. When we arrived we cut the line and walked straight over to the barista making drinks. Everything was ready to go with our name on computer-printed labels.  (And, yes, the people in line were jealous, and curious.) The app then stored the order, so it would be even quicker the next time.

Starbucks says the system will continue to evolve as the test run progresses. They hope to add things like store inventory, so you can order non-food items like mugs, as well as the ability to schedule when you want to pick up your order.