I read that the Microsoft Band has a Starbucks app (“tile”?) that lets me pay directly with the Band. Terrific. How do I set it up?
One of the most amazing things about the first wave of smart wearables is that they can be updated and customized with partner apps and even with new features and capabilities that magically show up from a software or firmware update. The Microsoft Band is no different, with its bright full color display and surprising capabilities. Post-launch, the company pushed out a new app “tile” that’s tied into the Starbucks point of sale payment system. And it works!
If you’re familiar with the Starbucks app on your Windows Phone, Android or Apple iPhone, you’re already got the idea. Just imagine it simplified with no store finder (yet?) and a squished interface to fit the tiny MSFT Band screen. You walk up to the cash register at your local Starbucks, tap your wrist, scan it, and you’re done. How futuristic is that?
To start, you’ll need to go to the Microsoft Health app on your smart phone and enable the Starbucks tile. In the app, tap on the small band icon on the top right, then “Manage Tiles” to do so. On your Band, you should be able to then swipe across and see the Starbucks logo appear:
Tap on it and you’ll find that it’s not quite ready to go out of the box:
Okay. We can do this.
On your smartphone jump into the app, tap on the watch icon, then click “Manage Tiles”. Scroll down to find the Starbucks Tile:
This is a slight bit confusing. It’s enabled, but there’s no actual Starbucks card tied to the Tile as of yet.
To solve that, tap on the word “Starbucks” on this screen and a new window opens up:
Now the dilemma. What’s your card number? If you’ve used the Starbucks app for a long time, you’ll be frustrated to learn that it smartly masks the card number when you check status, balance, etc. Even the Web site hides that full card number.
Turns out the only place you can see it is on the payment screen itself:
Tap on “PAY” as if you were poised to pay for that cuppa joe.
Now the number of your card shows up:
In case it’s not obvious, that’s not my actual number, nor is that the correct, usable bar code. Sorry to disappoint!
Your Starbucks card number is now displayed, so simply write it down or save it to another device.
Then flip back to the Microsoft Health app and enter the card number into the Starbucks Tile configuration screen:
Done? Tap on the tiny “save” icon on the bottom of this particular screen and make sure to sync your Microsoft Band to push the update to the Starbucks app.
The smartphone app will show this:
Looks good. And you did sync, right?
Because now when you tap on the Starbucks logo on your Microsoft Band, it’s magic:
And, again, that’s not going to actually scan because I’ve modified it to protect my own card!
To test it, I just bought a sandwich at my local Starbucks and it was the first time anyone had ever used a Microsoft Band to pay for anything here. The manager was impressed. Me? I was psyched that I can now avoid pulling my phone out of my pocket for yet another task, keeping me caffeinated!