Apple's under-appreciated Apple Store app gets a warm-welcomed update today!
Have you ever been pestered by the Apple Store Web Site on your iDevice to download this app? It's annoying isn't it? Especially when you've never wanted it because you've been happy just browsing Apple's website through Safari and never wanted the extra clutter on your home screen. Well, to those of you who never wanted this app, we are happy to announce that it is now more useful than ever before. The Apple Store app was updated to version 2.0 today. In fact, these new features just might make you change your mind about downloading this app for yourself. You can download the Apple Store app here for free.
What's new in Apple Store 2.0?
- Personal Pickup: Buy in the app and choose to pick up your order at any Apple Retail Store. Most in-stock orders are available for pickup within an hour. (U.S. only)
- EasyPay: Purchase select accessories in store quickly by scanning the barcode and completing your transaction right in the app. (U.S. only, requires iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S)
- Track your stuff: View the status of current and previous orders from the order status section in the More tab.
- Additional international support (Canada, China).
- Requires iOS 4.2 or higher
How does Easy Pay work?
First of all, when you first enter the store, you will know exactly how long you will have to wait, how many people are in line before you, and also when the next workshop is. The workshop is for learning how to use key tricks on your Mac. So how does Easy Pay actually work? It's a pretty easy and cool three-step process.
First, you have to scan the product that you're going to buy. The Apple Store app does this similarly to how the popular RedLaser scans bar codes. It uses the iDevice's camera to read the bar code (more specifically the number below it) to find information on the product such as type, price, and reviews. After it finds that information you can read the reviews for the product right from your Apple Store app. You will be able to see what people have to say about the product and figure out whether or not it's worth paying for. Finally, when you decide you've found something that you want to buy you can just sign in with your Apple I.D. and the Apple Store app will charge the Credit/Debit/Pre-Paid card that you have connected to your iTunes account for the amount that the product you are buying costs. You will not be able to use iTunes credit to buy products because the transaction goes straight to the Credit/Debit/Pre-Paid card that is linked to your iTunes account. So don't be misguided about that and make sure you balance that in your check book!
According to 9to5Mac, Apple Store representatives have nick-named this payment method 'Easy Theft' because of how easy it could be for someone to just walk out of a store with something that they have not purchased. Since there aren't any representatives helping with the transactions, it makes the customer perfectly capable of just slipping out the door unnoticed while the rest of the representatives are busy trying to sell... Macs and iPhones! I think they should implement a feature where you have to scan your iDevice for its UDID making sure that the owner of that iDevice paid for it. If they didn't then they would know exactly who's Credit/Debit/Pre-Paid card to charge later on, or who to go after for theft.
Some things in your local Apple Store will have labels on them that allow you to personally check out what you buy. This means that instead of selling cases and third party accessories, Apple Store representatives can be more efficient on selling... Macs and iPhones of course! When an object is labeled and compatible with Easy Pay, it will look like the case pictured above.
How does Personal Pickup work?
With personal pickup, you can order something from the Apple Store app. It will be ready at your local Apple Store within about 12 minutes. This means that you can take a drive there and show them your Apple Store order and just leave with what you ordered on the fly. It's that simple. This method will also cut down on people hogging all of the Apple Store representatives, so you won't have to wait for one to be free anymore.
So how will you be shopping the next time you visit your local Apple Store? Will you be talking to a representative or checking out yourself with your nifty new iDevice app? Share in the comments below!