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Did you know Starbucks has its own app with the ability to process payments through any iDevice at Starbucks locations throughout the U.S? The “Starbucks Card Mobile” app allows for the purchase of Starbucks goods through a prepaid “My Starbucks Rewards” card – straight on the iPhone.

The My Starbucks Rewards card operates like a prepaid gift card. Instead of paying with cash or a credit card, customers can reload and use the same Starbucks gift card to receive special discounts and perks.

If you have a Starbucks card, you can now use the Mobile Card app to make purchases at Starbucks locations. Here’s how it works…

The Setup:

You’ll need a Starbucks gift card to pay for your drinks. This card will act as your refillable Starbucks “tab” that you use to accumulate “stars.” Each time your card is used, another star is added to your Starbucks account. When you reach a certain amount of stars, new rewards and discounts become available to you (such as, free shots and pumps, refills, etc.).

Once you get 30 gold stars, your card is updated to “Gold” status. More discounts become available and you get more perks (such as, a free drink on your birthday and a drink on the house after every 15 purchases).

The Starbucks Card Mobile app is a free download in the App Store. This app will allow you to track your Starbucks card information, reload your card balance, and make mobile payments at participating Starbucks locations.

The App:

The Starbucks Card Mobile app will be the method for managing your Starbucks account. You will need to enter your registered Starbucks Rewards Card’s information into the app, and also provide a credit/debt card for reloading the card’s balance.

The app allows you to manage multiple cards at once and shows you what money you have on your card, with the ability to refresh and reload your balance. You can even set your account to auto-reload by automatically withdrawing from the credit card you set up within the app. (That can be dangerous if you’re an avid Starbucks drinker.)

The Starbucks Card Mobile app replaces paper receipts. You can view and record all of your account transactions within the app.

Your credit card information is set up in the app’s settings. Direct deposits can be made into your Starbucks Rewards account so that your card never runs dry.

Before you go to your local Starbucks to give this app a try, make sure to “Enable Payments” in the Payments window of the app. This will allow the Starbucks cashier access to use your iPhone for payment processing.

Once your card is set up in the Starbucks Card Mobile app and ready to go, you’re ready to pay at Starbucks with your iPhone!

The Purchase

I gave this mobile payment thing a try at my local Starbucks to see if it was as easy as it seemed.

Paying with your iPhone at Starbucks is pretty straightforward. Fire up the Mobile Card app while you’re waiting in line, and when it’s your turn, ask the cashier to use your iPhone app for payment.

In the app’s main “Cards” window, your gift card card is shown. Tap the “Touch to Pay” icon next to the card mockup and your card’s bar code will be available for scanning by the person checking you out.

When I tried this process, I simply handed my iPhone with the barcode enabled to the cashier and he scanned my iPhone’s screen with the card scanner at his register. The card scanned successfully even though I had a smudgy screen protector over my iPhone’s screen. The drink was instantly paid for with my prepaid card and there were no paper receipts. It worked wonderfully.

While this mobile payment isn’t groundbreaking, it does keep one more physical card out of your wallet. The initial setup takes the longest; after that it should be a quick and easy process.

The biggest problem with this payment method is that the Starbucks Card Mobile app has all of your credit card information. Luckily, you can set a password for the app in case you’re worried about your information being stolen. Just remember to do so if you give your banking information to the app.

You can read the rest of the Starbucks press statement about their mobile payment feature. I would also invite you to sign up for the My Starbucks Rewards program if you’re a Starbucks regular.

Now go enjoy that $4 cup of coffee.

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How To Personalize Your Iphone Home Screen With Custom App Icons

With the release of iOS 14, Apple gave its users more flexibility with their Home Screens. We’ve been telling you all about Home Screen widgets; how to find and add widgets, create custom widgets, and the best apps that offer widgets. So if you’ve gotten a taste of how wonderful Home Screen customization can be and want a bit more, you’ve got it!

Not a new option, but certainly one worth mentioning is creating custom app icons for your Home Screen. Maybe you’re not fond of the icons for specific apps or perhaps you simply want to use images of your own. With the Shortcuts app and the images you want to use, here’s how to personalize your iPhone Home Screen with custom app icons.

Featured Home Screens by @

Icon packs and custom widgets

Featured Home Screens by @ rslashAC , @ Sarrafkoo , @ PrettySickly , and @ wholelottajenni

If you want to replicate something like the image above, you’ll probably want to download a nice icons pack. These have existed for years but they’re receiving renewed interest since the launch of iOS 14. Search for iOS icons packs on your favorite search engine or on Twitter, and chances are you’ll find something.

To get you started, here are a few places where you can find icon packs for your Home Screen.

For added pop on your Home Screen, you’ll also want to create custom Home Screen widgets as well.

Create custom app icons with Shortcuts

To add new icons to your Home Screen, you can simply change the icon for the app to one of the built-in Shortcuts options or pick your very own image. We’ll show you how to do both! Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and follow these steps.

1) Tap the My Shortcuts tab at the bottom and then the + sign at the top.

3) In the box that appears, tap Choose and then select the app you want or use the Search at the top to find it.

4) Tap the three dots on the top right.

5) Give your shortcut a name. You can have the name of the app icon different on your Home Screen using the steps below. This step simply names the shortcut in the Shortcuts app.

From this point, the steps can vary. This depends on whether you want to pick an icon or add your own image.

Pick an icon

If you want to select an icon from Shortcuts:

a) Tap the default icon.

b) Choose Glyph and make your pick. Optionally you can select a Color.

c) Tap Add to Home Screen.

Add your own image

If you want to use your own image:

a) Go straight to Add to Home Screen.

b) Tap the icon below Home Screen Name and Icon.

c) Select Choose File, Choose Photo, or Take Photo and follow the prompts for the option you pick.

6) Give the shortcut for your Home Screen a name and tap Add.

7) Tap Done and then Done again.

With both of the sets of steps above for the type of app icon you want to use, there is a longer version of steps where you tap Next instead of the three dots to create the shortcut. Then from All Shortcuts, tap the three dots for the shortcut and follow the steps above to add it to the Home Screen. This is just another way to create the shortcut to open the app and a longer one at that.

Since using the Shortcuts app is basically a different way to open an app (but with a different icon), there are bound to be downsides.

Another downside is that you will not see any badge icons you’ve enabled for the app. The shortcut you create is only to open the app and does not include this type of feature.

Wrapping it up

Even though it looks like a lot of work to create custom app icons, once you do it the first time, the process will seem simple. And it may just have you creating tons of app icons for your Home Screen!

Want more spacing on your Home Screen too? You can also use Shortcuts to create blank icons!

How To Access Your Mac Remotely From Your Iphone Or Ipad With Screens Vnc

There is a ton of VNC software options out there, but Screens by Edovia has by far been my favorite for a number of years because it looks and feels like software Apple could have created themselves.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can use the Screens app from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, in combination with Edovia’s free Screens Connect software for Mac, to access your Mac remotely.

Why Screens VNC?

Screens VNC for iOS is on the pricier side of things, at $19.99 from the App Store, so lots of people are going to be skeptical at its worthiness and compare it to free software like TeamViewer and other less-expensive VNC apps.

My opinion on many of those alternatives is that they may work alright, but… meh. The interfaces don’t really spark my interest, or the features aren’t really as appealing.

I’ve tried lots of VNC software apps, and none have felt as native as Screens. It just seems to work well and it looks and feels like an app that was put together by people who understand the design and function of Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms very well.

Accessing your Mac remotely with Screens VNC

There are two things you have to do to make this work: 1) you need to set up your Mac, and 2) you need to set up your iOS device.

Setting up your Mac

Using Screens VNC is pretty easy; Edovia has pretty much streamlined the process by making everything cloud-based. You can make a free Screens Connect account and everything else becomes easy peasy. We’ll show you the steps to set up your VNC connection to your Mac with Screens below:

2) Next, download and install the free Screens Connect software from Edovia’s website on your Mac or PC after you’ve created your Screens Connect account.

5) Once you’re in, you’re good to go. You should see green dots for everything because Screens Connect will configure itself automatically for the best performance on your network:

Setting up your iOS device

To prepare your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you’ll follow these steps:

1) Download and install Screens VNC on your iOS device.

2) Launch the app and tap on the Settings button at the top left of the app’s interface:

3) Next, tap on the Screens Connect Sign In cell.

4) Enter your credentials for your Screens Connect account and tap Next.

5) Once your sign in is complete, tap on the Settings button and then tap on the Done button.

6) Now you’ll find yourself back in the Screens VNC app interface. If you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, you can tap on the + button to begin adding your computer.

7) In the next menu that appears, tap on the New Screen button.

8) You should now be given a list of computers you can connect to. Your Mac or PC that you installed Screens Connect on should show up in this list if it’s on the same Wi-Fi network as your iOS device. Tap on it.

9) The next screen lets you configure your connection to your computer. You can leave almost everything how it is because Screens Connect set everything up for you already. Just enter your computer’s username and password so Screens VNC knows how to log into your computer, then tap Done.

10) Your computer will now appear in your computer splash screen from the Screens VNC app interface. You can tap on it to begin connecting to it.

11) Because you gave Screens VNC your username and password, you won’t need to log in; it does it automatically for you. Screens VNC will begin downloading your Mac or PC’s display:

12) And once it’s ready, you’ll see your Mac’s screen on your iOS device’s display:

That’s all there is to it! You have connected to your Mac with the Screens VNC app by Edovia, and now you can control your Mac remotely without having to be sitting next to it.

To disconnect, you can tap on the Share button at the bottom right of the app, and then tap on the Disconnect button:

More things to know about Screens VNC

Screens VNC is a great VNC client for iOS, and at $19.99, you should expect no less than the best.

The app supports multi-touch and various other gestures for inputting information into your Mac. It even includes its own keyboard, as well as dedicated OS X-like shortcut buttons across the bottom of the app. With these tools, you can operate your Mac just like if you were sitting right next to it.

It’s possible to set up a DNS server with your Mac and access your Mac with Screens VNC even when you’re not connected to the same Wi-Fi network, so with that in mind, it is just as powerful as apps like TeamViewer, but requires a little more time to configure. Depending on your knowledge of networking, setting up a DNS server may or may not be outside of your comfort zone.

Wrapping up

Screens VNC is my favorite remote desktop software for my iOS devices, and it has a great front end design on not only the iOS platform, but also on the Mac. It’s a piece of software that does cost a bit of dime at $19.99 from the App Store, but I’ve been using it for years and I must say I don’t regret buying it one bit.

Also read: How to share your Mac’s screen via the Messages app

How To Make Apple Watch Play Nice With Your Iphone On A 5Ghz Wi

Although not quite new, we reported this morning that Apple Watch can’t connect to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network. It’s not a bug or anything. It’s just a limitation of the current hardware found in Apple Watch. For those users that are not aware of this limitation, it can cause problems when believing that because you are on a known Wi-Fi network, Apple Watch and iPhone should still be able to connect even if they’re out of Bluetooth range.

There is just no way to make your Apple Watch connect to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, but there are ways to work around that limitation. I’ve actually been helping people with that specific issue for a few days now, and because I’ve seen misinformation going around, I thought it would be best to just get things cleared up and explain how you can have both your iPhone and Apple Watch play nice with each other, even if your iPhone is connected to a 5Ghz network.

iPhone, Apple Watch, and 5Ghz Wi-Fi networks

Again, this is a workaround, as there is no way to connect an Apple Watch to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, but it does work.

Step 1: If not already done, set up two different networks on your router. The first network will be 2.4Ghz, and the second one will be a 5Ghz network.

Step 2: To prevent any kind of potential issue, forget all these Wi-Fi networks from your iPhone, if you previously connected to any of them.

Step 3: On your iPhone, connect first to the 2.4Ghz network. Technically, your Apple Watch should then remember that specific network. Although probably not necessary, I’d suggest performing a few task requiring an internet connection from your Apple Watch, just to make sure the connection between the device and iPhone is active. The transmission of data at that point will be via Bluetooth, as it is the preferred method for both devices to communicate between each other (for power efficiency purposes).

Step 4: As a test, and after performing the previous steps, I would suggest turning off Bluetooth on your iPhone. If everything went according to plan, your iPhone should still be connected to that 2.4Ghz network, and it should be using that same network to communicate with your Apple Watch, instead of relying on Bluetooth.

Note that you may see the red Disconnected icon on your Apple Watch for a brief moment. It may also say there is no connection with iPhone, but that’s just a temporary hiccup. I have experienced this myself but at every occasion, it switched to the Wi-Fi network a few seconds later.

At that point, it is safe to turn Bluetooth back on on your iPhone.

Step 5: From your iPhone, connect to the 5Ghz Wi-Fi network. If you choose so, you may even forget that 2.4Ghz network from your iPhone, because your Apple Watch will still remember it. From now on, even though your iPhone may be connected to the 5Ghz network, it will still be able to communicate with Apple Watch in case Bluetooth is unavailable. Apple Watch will be using the 2.4Ghz network it learned in step 3, and your iPhone will connect to the internet via the 5Ghz network.

At that point, you can even do a test by forgetting the 2.4Ghz network and disabling Bluetooth from your iPhone. Invoke Siri from your Apple Watch and tell her to make a call. This will be the real test to make sure it is indeed connecting to your iPhone.

Read more about this topic:

Tech Leaders: Google, Apple, And…Starbucks?

The top three culture-shifting technology companies: Apple, Google and… Starbucks?

Starting today, you can walk into a Starbucks and use your phone to pay for your Skinny Caramel Macchiato, extra hot, extra whip with room for sugar.

Prognosticating pundits (including Yours Truly) have predicted for years the dawning age of the mobile “eWallet,” where everything in your wallet, including money, goes digital and lives inside your cell phone.

Despite all our blather, most real people haven’t actually been using phones to pay for much. But I think that will change, starting today, thanks to Starbucks.

This is simply the latest major cultural shift that Starbucks has effected using well-placed, well-timed technology innovation.

Sure, there are lots of technology companies that ship amazing technology without single-handedly, profoundly and directly changing the way millions of ordinary people live every day. Examples include IBM, Oracle, Inteland others.

And some tech companies change culture, but only with a single product or feature — for example Facebook and Twitter.

But very few companies have changed global culture in several ways, several times. The short list includes Apple, Google and, yes, Starbucks.

It’s also worth noting Starbucks’ intimate cultural links with the technology industry.

Starbucks was initially modeled after a Silicon Valley coffee joint called Peet’s, founded in Berkeley in 1966, which served as the rocket fuel for every Silicon Valley tech boom since.

The first Starbucks opened in 1971 in Seattle four years before Microsoft was established in nearby Redmond. From very early on, Starbucks served as the unofficial beverage at Microsoft, long before the chain became nationally ubiquitous in the 1990s. The two companies have also partnered on a wide range of initiatives, from co-sponsoring local events to collaborating on environmental initiatives.

Although Starbucks sells coffee, not gadgets or software, the company has long been considered something of an honorary tech company, both for its affinity and association with technology companies, and also for its culture-shifting innovations.

Starbucks is using technology to change culture in 4 major ways:

The latest innovation, of course, is today’s rollout of the virtual Starbucks debit card app. The app is much better to use than the existing cards. You load them with money yourself by adding your credit card information to the app, then doing a transfer when you want more on the card.

It’s better because you don’t have to carry an extra card. You can see your balance without having to ask a Starbucks cashier. And it’s faster to make purchases because you don’t have to wait for the Starbucks cashier to process it.

On the iPhone or iPod Touch, visit the app store and download the free “Starbucks Card Mobile” app. On the BlackBerry, text GO to 70845. If you already have a card (from the days when you needed an account to use Starbucks’ Wi-Fi), the app should recognize your username and password. Otherwise, set up a new one.

Just add your credit card information, then add money to the virtual card. You can also transfer money from the Starbucks card you already carry in your wallet to the app. In fact, you can add any number of cards.

The app also tells you which stores support the new scheme. Just find a store on the map, tap the pin and look under “Amenities.” If it says “Mobile Payment,” then that store accepts the new Mobile Card.

I believe Starbucks’ popularity will mainstream the digital eWallet concept in the United States.

Even though I live in Silicon Valley, which is Peet’s country, I usually go to Starbucks because the company offers free, unlimited Wi-Fi. Peet’s, on the other hand, has recently reduced its Wi-Fi limit to just one hours (down from its previous limit of two hours).

Free Wi-Fi wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that Starbucks really dominates the usage of free Wi-Fi worldwide. Unlike other chains with free Wi-Fi, such as McDonald’s, more than half the people in most Starbucks are using the network, either with laptops or with Wi-Fi connected smart phones.

Protect Your Jailbroken Iphone From Thieves With Icaughtu 12

If you’re more anxious than most, especially concerning the safety of your jailbroken thousand-dollar smartphone, then you might be interested in a newly-released jailbreak tweak called iCaughtU 12 by iOS developer Itay.

iCaughtU 12 is an iOS 12-compatible remake of one of the most popular anti-theft jailbreak tweaks ever devised, and as you might come to expect, it provides many of the features that users have come to know and love since the original classic launched several years ago.

Some of the tweak’s most notable features include:

Sending an email or SMS message to your email when a passcode is entered incorrectly

Snap a picture with the front-facing camera when passcode is entered incorrectly

Snap a picture with the front-facing camera when someone tries to turn your device off

Thief pictures can be saved to iCloud Photo Library

Send device information (battery and location) when passcode is entered incorrectly

And so much more…

When a passcode is entered incorrectly on the Lock screen, or when a power-down attempt is tried, the user will have no idea that their picture is being taken; but a prompt will appear saying who the device belongs to and how to get in touch with you:

From this point, it’s up to the user to be the good samaritan and return the device or up to you to send the thief’s photograph to police.

Once installed, iCaughtU 12 adds a preference pane to the Settings app where you will need to set the tweak up:

Here, you can:

Enable or disable the tweak on demand

Configure general tweak settings

Enter your email information

Enter your SMS information

Choose what happens when a wrong passcode is entered

Choose what happens when someone tries to power down your device

For privacy reasons, we won’t show you the email or SMS sections as they’re straightforward, but we’ll outline the rest for you below:

General Settings

Save pictures to Photo Library

Turn on Wi-Fi

Disable Airplane Mode

Enable Low Power Mode

Disable Control Center toggles

Turn on cellular data

Turn on 3G/LTE

Choose which internet SIM to use

Configure trusted Wi-Fi networks where the tweak will not activate

Wrong Passcode Settings

Choose the number of allowed wrong attempts via a slider (max 5)

Flash the display when the passcode attempt is wrong

Send the device’s location when the passcode attempt is wrong

Send an SMS when the passcode attempt is wrong

Display a special message alert when the passcode attempt is wrong

Count biometric attempts alongside passcode attempts (not recommended)

Power Down Settings

Disable device power down to prevent thieves from preventing tracking

Flash the display when power down is attempted

Send an SMS when power down is attempted

Send the device’s location when power down is attempted

Display a special message alert when power down is attempted

As you might’ve noticed, the developer has put quite a bit of thought into iCaughtU 12, and for that reason, it’s perhaps one of the best anti-theft tweaks on the market.

Not only can it prevent power-downs, but it can alert to you the thief when a power down is attempted. It does the same with wrong passcode attempts, sharing vital information such as the thief’s picture, the device’s location, and its current battery level. Moreover, it blocks access to Airplane Mode and Control Center, and keeps Low Power Mode on to prevent the device from dying if necessary.

Are you always worried about thieves stealing your iPhone?

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