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Starbucks app gets digital tipping and other news from March 13, 2014

Starbucks is handing out cards and emailing patrons to advise them of a major update to the company's iOS app, coming on March 19. I received one of the cards when I got my mocha fix on Thursday.

The app update will feature digital tipping (at US company-operated locations), for well-meaning patrons who don't carry much cash but still want to give their favorite barista a gratuity. Digital tipping was one of the top customer suggestions at the company's MyStarbucksIdea.com crowdsourcing site.

The new version also lets you shake your phone to instantly bring up your Starbucks Card barcode for e-payment. Starbucks has more information about the app update on its website, but the email alert does warn users to have their Starbucks password handy (you'll have to log in again with the new version) and to take a screenshot of your saved Favorite Drink -- the new app is dropping that feature.

Other news from Thursday afternoon includes:

  • Here's one for opera fans. France's Opéra de Lyon will debut an opera about Steve Jobs that draws from "Henry V" and the 2011 biography of the Apple founder. Combining Shakespeare and Walter Isaacson? That'll be a must-see. Maybe there'll be a Blu-ray of the performance.
  • Repairs are still underway from when a snow removal machine had a nasty collision with the glass cube atop Apple's 5th Avenue store in New York City. Check out these photos from the Mac Observer showing the work in progress.
  • In an effort to divert users away from Dropbox and Microsoft's OneDrive, Google is changing its pricing for Google Drive extra storage to $1.99 per month for 100 GB and $9.99 a month for 1 TB. As Re/code points out, this means 100 GB a year of cloud storage will cost $23.88 with Google Drive, $50 with Microsoft and $99 with Dropbox.

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