November 8, 2011


Apple has rolled out a new service with an upgrade to their Apple Store App on the iPhone. I’m finding it to be quite nifty.

You can order any Apple product from the app and have it shipped to your home or business. Pretty standard fare, right?

It gets better.

You can order an Apple product from the app and have it available at the nearest Apple store, ready for pick-up in as little as an hour. This is pretty much like what BestBuy offers (and I enjoy this convenience once in a while).

Better yet?

You can walk into an Apple store, pick an item off the shelf, scan the barcode with your iPhone camera and then leave the store with the item.

Now this is cool.

Let’s say I would like to buy a pair of Bose headphones that they have at the Apple store. I already know what I want and I know that they have them at the Apple store at Crossgates Mall. I simply drive down to Crossgates, walk into the Apple store and find the headphones. I open up the Apple store app on my iPhone, scan the barcode of the headphones and click “pay”. The total amount due is charged against the credit card already registered to my iTunes account. A receipt is emailed to my registered email address and the transaction is logged on my iPhone, so I can show the friendly security guard or other Apple employee that I have paid as I walk out of the store.

How cool is that?

I don’t need to hear outrageously loud commands screaming friendly hints at me such as “Please scan your first item” or “check your bag” (she’s with me and she looks fine). While I enjoy fraternizing with the very friendly staff at any given Apple store, sometimes I don’t have time to outline my entire Apple collection as we shake hands, exchange phone numbers and bat eyes at each other when all I want to do is buy a certain item and move on. We’ll save the cooing for the big stuff.

What I like most about this Apple store app is that it makes sense to me. It’s self checkout done right. Grab and go. No need to make sure the item is perfectly situated in the bag, no need to sign a credit card receipt at a checkstand monitored by a very crabby cashier who is monitoring a fleet of these screaming self-serve checkouts. Scan, tap and go.